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Hunters asked to be mindful of algal blooms which could endanger pets

Waterfowl hunters are being asked to keep an eye out for harmful algal blooms. Photo credit: Utah Division of Wildlife Resources

SALT LAKE CITY — Most of the waterfowl hunts in the state got underway on Oct. 2. And while hunters are prepared with the most important elements in hunting – ammunition, decoys, and dogs, they may not notice harmful algal blooms that exist on some waterbodies in Utah.

Algal blooms still pose a problem in Autumn

According to the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, there are nine bodies of water around the state that, as of Tuesday, are under a warning advisory for algal blooms. There is also an additional water body that is in a danger advisory.

At the end of the month, the state will stop watching for harmful algal blooms. The monitoring will stop due to the decrease in temperature and weather conditions.

The DWR wants the public to know that algal blooms can survive the colder months of the year. As a result, they can be a threat to humans and pets year-round.

“Beginning at the end of the month, some active advisories will be lifted, and signs and website posts will start to come down,” DWQ Water Quality and Technical Services Manager Ben Holcomb said in a press release. “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.”

According to the DWR, harmful algal blooms can have a pea soup look. They can also look like spilled paint, grass clippings or water that has a green or blue-green color. 

The DWR is asking hunters to do everything possible to keep their dogs away from harmful algal blooms. Toxins in harmful in algal blooms can be fatal to pets.  

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