Northwest of Minot you'll find Lake Darling.  A nice man-made lake that provides recreation and water storage.  I always looked forward to going up shore fishing with my family.  Clip a bobber on the line- toss it out and wait. Well, kids aren't much for just waiting around, especially when there's frogs hiding in the algae.  The thicker and slimier the algae all the better.

The point I'm making today- don't play in the algae and don't let your pets do it either.

Temperatures are warming up and it seems to me that we might be in for a hot one this summer.  Warmer temperatures lead to a bloom for blue-green algae and the results of that are toxic indeed.  KX News issued the first warning that I've seen in 2020, so it seemed like a good time to give y'all a heads up so we can all be mindful around the water.

It all begins with cyanobacteria- which, like most things in nature, is beneficial to a healthy ecosystem.  The North Dakota Department of Environmental Quality describes it like this.

Cyanobacteria are microscopic organisms found in all types of water. They are more like bacteria than plants, but because they live in water and use sunlight to create food (photosynthesis) they are often called "blue-green algae."

Cyanobacteria thrive when the weather is warm and dry.  Under certain nutrient rich environmental conditions they can form a bloom. The presence of fertilizers, livestock and pet waste, septic systems, and more phosphorous rich materials speed the process.  Slow moving or stagnant water is the best growing environment with the blooms usually collecting along the shore. The Missouri River doesn't hold much danger in it's main channel.

Every year there are reports of pets and livestock dying from drinking water that is rich in Cyanobacteria. Generally the most dangerous levels occur later in summer and early fall.  Last year there were two Morton County lakes that had blue-algae bloom issues. The state has resources tracking the quality of water bodies across the state. You'll find that here.

Don't panic- just don't play in the green-blue algae.


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