DWR Warning Hunters To Watch For Toxic Algal Blooms

Oct 19, 2020, 3:02 PM | Updated: 3:02 pm

Hunting over duck decoys is the perfect way to bring ducks in for a good shot. (Jordan Farr/Utah DW...

Hunting over duck decoys is the perfect way to bring ducks in for a good shot. (Jordan Farr/Utah DWR)

(Jordan Farr/Utah DWR)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Many waterfowl hunts have started in Utah and the Utah Department of Wildlife Resources is warning hunters to look for the signs of toxic algal blooms.

DWR officials said people are under the impression that the threat posed by these toxic blooms lessens in the colder months, but algal blooms are still a threat to humans and pets throughout the fall and winter.

There currently 14 waterbodies in Utah under an algae warning advisory.

“Most active advisories will be lifted by the end of the month, and signs and website posts will be removed,” said Kate Fickas, recreational health advisory program coordinator for Utah Department of Water Quality. “However, it’s essential to know that these blooms can continue in colder weather. People should know what to look for, and when in doubt, keep your pets and hunting dogs out of the water.”

A news release from the DWR said harmful algal blooms look like pea soup, spilled paint, glass clippings or have a blue-green color.

Cyanobacteria, found in toxic algal blooms, discolors waters near Utah Lake’s Lincoln Beach. (Utah DWR)

The release also warned to keep hunting dogs away from these blooms because they can be fatal. Dangers include skin contact, swallowing toxic water or licking the water off their coats.

“If you suspect your pet has been exposed to a harmful algal bloom, seek immediate care from your veterinarian,” the release said. “Even with proper veterinary care, most exposures are fatal. Prevention is the best way to protect your pet.”

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DWR Warning Hunters To Watch For Toxic Algal Blooms