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You May Not Want To Swim In These 3 Idaho Lakes This Summer Due To A Dangerous Discovery

A few bodies of water in Idaho may be unsafe for you and/or your pets due to the presence of blue green algae, also referred to as cyanobacteria.

Most types of algal blooms are actually not harmful, but the blue-green algae found in these waters are actually considered potentially dangerous. People and animals can become exposed to blue-green algae by swallowing or just coming into physical contact with water containing this type of algae. The most common health effects associated with coming into contact with blue-green algae are skin and eye irritation, but the more dangerous health effects include stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, dizziness, and difficulty breathing.

The bodies of water mentioned here have had advisories put out on them for potentially having dangerous amounts of blue-green algae in them. However, it’s important to remember that not all bodies of water are being actively monitored and it’s really up to you to judge the safety of any body of water.

The Department of Environmental Quality monitors some, but not all, bodies of water in Idaho. Just because a body of water has no health advisory, it isn’t necessarily safe. The best advice is “when in doubt, stay out.” Use common sense and don’t swim in water that is particularly foul smelling or has foamy green scum on top. For updates about algal bloom advisories, click here.