HAILEY, Idaho (KLIX)-Local health officials say several dogs became sick recently after playing in two small lakes west of Ketchum prompting a test of the water that came back negative for harmful algae.

Dollar Lake, Idaho Department of Environmental Quality

The South Central Public Health District and the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality announced Penny Lake and Dollar Lake, on Warm Springs Road west of the ski resort, were tested for harmful algal blooms (HAB), or cyanobacteria (blue-green algae) after several dogs reportedly became sick after playing in the water. Idaho DEQ investigated each report and said all tests came back negative for the cyanobacteria.

“This is a good reminder to make sure you know what to look for and how to report a harmful algal bloom,” said Josh Jensen, SCPHD program manager in a prepared statement. “The likelihood of a HAB in our local lakes goes up as summer temperatures heat the water and encourage algae to grow. With such a low water year, we may be seeing them earlier than usual.”

SCPHD said people should look for foamy water, scum, algal mats, or paint-like streaks on the surface. The water would also be discolored and usually smells bad. If you spot what you think is an algal bloom, stay out of the water and keep pets out as well. Health officials say you cannot tell if a bloom is harmful by just looking at it. Idaho DEQ Shares the latest information on harmful algal blooms at this website.

Dollar Lake, Idaho Department of Environmental Quality
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