Possibly harmful algae blooming on Lake Harriet

The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (MPRB) says that an algae bloom on Lake Harriet in Minneapolis contains blue-green algae, a bacteria that can make people and pets sick if ingested.

The MPRB says despite the name of blue-green algae, the aquatic plant can be a multitude of colors, including vibrant rust, and can look like paint spilled on the water.

If ingested, people and animals can become sick within hours or up to two days later with symptoms including vomiting, diarrhea, a rash, cough, sore throat and headache.

Since MPRB says you cannot tell if algae is toxic just by looking at it, the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) provided these guidelines:

  • Don’t swim if you can’t see your feet in knee-high water and wash off with fresh water.
  • Don’t let dogs drink or swim in the water.
  • When in doubt, stay out.

More information from MDH on harmful algae blooms can be found here.

You can check the status of this blue-green algae bloom and other algae that could arise on Minneapolis lakes here.