Dept. of Environmental Quality warning hunters of blue-green algae

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BISMARCK, N.D. (KFGO) – With waterfowl and upland bird hunting seasons underway, the North Dakota Department of Environmental Quality is warning hunters to watch for potentially toxic blue-green algae in wetlands and lakes this fall. 

The department said blue-green algae can produce cyanotoxins, which if ingested, can cause severe health effects in both dogs and humans. 

Common side effects for people exposed to cyanotoxins include diarrhea and vomiting, numb lips, tingling fingers and toes, dizziness, rashes, hives, and skin blisters. Canine deaths, seizures, vomiting, and skin irritation have all been linked to these blooms. There are no known antidotes for cyanotoxins.

Blue-green algae can take many different forms. The department said to look out for the appearance of grass clippings floating in the water, clumps/puffballs or green cottage cheese. It can also make the water look like spilled green paint or green pea soup and is commonly bright green or turquoise in color.

If a person or pet comes in contact with blue-green algae, officials say you should wash off as soon as possible and report it to Environmental Quality at 701-328-5210 or by clicking here. 

Source: KFGO


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