Officials are urging caution after the death of a dog led to the discovery of a blue-green algae bloom growing in the Trinity River. According to a release from the State Water Resources Control Board, samples taken at the Hlel-Din river access site confirmed the presence of "toxic algal mats" of cyanobacteria, commonly known as blue-green algae, in the main stem of the Trinity River, extending downstream from the confluence of the South Fork.

“Trinity County has posted ‘Toxic Algae Alert’ and ‘Caution’ signage at recreational areas along Trinity River, including swimming access areas downstream of the bloom,” the release said. “Boaters and recreational users are urged to be alert when recreating in the water.”

Kids and pets are said to be most susceptible, and parents and pet owners should keep them from touching algal blooms.

“While harmful algal blooms are caused by algal or cyanobacteria that grow floating in the water, some algae or cyanobacteria grow attached to the bottom surface of waterways and can form algal mats. If you see algal mats the recommendation is for children, dogs, and adults to not touch or inadvertently ingest any algal mat material in the water or found stranded on the riverbanks,” the release states. “In addition, dogs should not drink water directly from the rivers.” The State Water board advises people to shower themselves and pets after being in the water, clean all caught fish with tap water and get treatment immediately if feeling sick after being in the water.

To report a bloom, email CyanoHAB.reports@waterboards.ca.gov and visit the California Harmful Algal Blooms Portal on the Trinity County webpage for more information.

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