Douglas County toxic algae was most serious of the year

Douglas County toxic algae was most serious of the year

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) - A toxic blue-green algae bloom in Douglas County was the most serious of 21 such blooms reported this year in Oregon lakes, streams and reservoirs.

Oregon State University scientists confirmed that one of four dogs that died in late summer after playing in Elk Creek was poisoned by the toxic algae. In all, four dogs suffered convulsions and died after visits to Elk Creek, a tributary of the Umpqua River outside Roseburg.

The Oregonian reports there were 30 such toxic algae blooms in the previous three years combined. Five of this year's public health advisories for the blooms remain in effect, including at Blue Lake in east Multnomah County.

Some scientists say the frequency and intensity of toxic algae blooms are increasing, according to a July study published by the Oregon State University Extension Service. Contributing factors may include water flow changes, the spread of invasive plant species and an increase in nutrients flowing into lakes and streams.

State officials believe increased monitoring, public awareness and reporting are primarily responsible for the spike in cases but acknowledge the scope of the problem is unclear.

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Information from: The Oregonian

 

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