Harmful algae season coming to an end due to cool weather

Austin

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Harmful algae is no longer being detected in Lady Bird Lake by Watershed Protection, according to a release sent Tuesday.

The risk at Lady Bird Lake is now low, due to cooler temperatures. The algae likely won’t come back until next summer, Watershed Protection said.

The first toxic algae samples were taken in mid-July, and staff continued to find toxins until mid-November.

Watershed Protection said this year, there were no reports of dogs getting sick or dying due to exposure to the algae after swimming. Watershed Protection credits dog owners for taking extra precautions.

It said staff first got reports of dogs dying in Lady Bird Lake in August 2019, but this year, Watershed Protection implemented a monitoring program in late June to help avoid such tragedies.

Signs were also posted notifying dog owners.

The monitoring program’s dashboard will not be updated during the low-risk season, Watershed Protection said.

The harmful algae that tends to bloom in Lady Bird Lake is different from other, more common outbreaks in the Great Lakes and Gulf Coast. Lady Bird Lake’s algae grows in clumps at the bottom of the lakebed and then comes to the water’s surface, Watershed Protection said.

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Austin-Travis County

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