It's peak time to spot dangerous blue-green algae in Colorado and multiple lakes and reservoirs are currently reporting the presence of potentially deadly toxins. 

Cyanobacteria, also known as blue-green algae, produces toxins that can be harmful to people, animals, and the environment. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, animals can die within hours to days after swallowing toxins. 

Be aware of the blue-green algae risk at the following bodies of water in Colorado:

  • Milavec Lake (southeast of Longmont)
  • Sloan's Lake (Denver)
  • DeWeese Reservoir (Custer County)
  • Pikeview Reservoir (Northeast Colorado Springs)
  • Other bodies of water where blue-green algae may appear to be visible

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Officials are currently prohibiting all water activities at Milavec Lake after discovering a "suspicious algae" bloom earlier this week. The safety closure includes the ban of fishing, boating, wading, and dogs in or near the water.

The alert comes just weeks after DeWeese Reservoir in Westcliffe and Sloan's Lake in Denver tested positive for potentially deadly blue-green algae earlier this summer.

Colorado Springs officials also warned the public of blue-green algae being present in the Pikeview Reservoir, which supplies drinking water to the area.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife encourages people to avoid contact with bodies of water where blue-green algae bloom may be present. This also applies to pets.

Look for signs of recent blooms, such as floating layers of green scum along the shoreline. Blooms are usually blue-green, but can vary in color from red to brown. They are foamy and thick in appearance, often resembling pea soup or spilled paint.

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Breanna Sneeringer writes about news, adventure, and more for OutThere Colorado as a Digital Content Producer. She is an avid adventure seeker and wildflower enthusiast. Breanna joined OutThere Colorado in September 2018.


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