Hot, dry weather causing more blue-green algae at metro lake

Recent hot, dry weather in Minnesota is causing blue-green algae to bloom earlier and more often.  (FOX 9)

Alex Her has been fishing for panfish and carp at Crystal Lake in Robbinsdale for as long as he can remember.

"This is my childhood lake. I always come out and have fun here," said Her.

He comes to the water to relax, but recently, he's been met with warning signs about blue-green algae, something stinky and potentially toxic.

"I’ve seen people swim and I tell them, 'Hey, just stay out of the water!' Even me, around the bank here, I try to avoid (it)," said Her.

Robbinsdale Water Resources Specialist Marta Roser says this summer's hot, dry weather is making algae blooms more prevalent at the lake.

"I think the fact that it heated up really early on in the spring contributed to early algae blooms. We usually don’t see blooms as large as what we’ve seen until August," said Roser.

Blue-green algae looks like a green paint spill on the water. It can contain toxins that are deadly for pets and toxic for humans if ingested, and it's not just a problem in Robbinsdale.

The Minneapolis Park Board's Lake Water Quality map shows blue-green algae may be present at the beaches of Bde Maka Ska and Lake Hiawatha.

"You can’t tell by looking at the blooms if it has the toxins, so that can make it a little bit tricky," said Roser.

If you suspect lake water has blue-green algae, stay out.

The Minneapolis Park Board recommends not swimming if you can't see your feet in knee-high water.

If you or your pet accidentally swims in water that could have blue-green algae, wash off with clean water immediately and be sure not to let your pet lick their fur.

For more tips on how to avoid blue-green algae and pictures of what it looks like, visit the MPCA website.