With the official start of summer rapidly approaching, more and more Wyomingites are heading to the state's lakes, but summer also means the possible return of blue-green algae.

In a news release Monday, the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality is advising the public to be on the lookout for blue-green algae, or cyanobacteria blooms in the state's lakes. If you find or suspect you've found a bloom, contact DEQ at 307-777-7501 or submit a complaint at WyoSpills.org.

According to DEQ, cyanobacterial blooms produce toxins and other irritants that pose a risk to human and animal health. The blooms are generally blue or green in color and may look like green water, small grass clippings, scum, floating mats or spilled paint.

They may also be attached to rocks, sediment or plants at the bottom of a water body.

Once formed, the blooms may last days, weeks or even months.

If a bloom is present, the Wyoming Department of Health and Wyoming Livestock Board recommend:

  • Avoiding contact with water near the bloom, especially in areas where the bloom is dense and forms scum
  • Don't injest  water from the bloom. Boiling, filtration and other treatments do not remove the toxins.
  • Rinse fish with clean water and only eat the fillet portion
  • Avoid water spray from te bloom
  • Do not allow pets or livestock to drink water near the bloom, eat bloom material or lick fur after contact
  • If you, your pets or livestock come in contact with a bloom, rinse off with clean water as soon as possible.
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