Willow Lake near Lassen Volcanic National Park is experiencing an algae bloom as seen in this July 22 photo and health authorities recommend caution. Photo submitted

Beware green algae bloom at Willow Lake

People venturing into the Willow Lake area, located in the northern part of Plumas County near Lassen Volcanic National Park, are warned to stay out of the green waters. They’re reminded to keep their pets out too.

A harmful algae bloom has been detected in the lake, according to Plumas County Environmental Director Jerry Sipe today.

A large population has taken over the lake and turned it “pea soup” green, he said.

The algae produce harmful compounds and toxins that should be avoided. Dogs have been known to die from coming in contact with this type of algae, Sipe explained.

On July 22 Lassen Nation Forest personnel took samples of the green substance called saxitoxin.

For those who come into contact with the algae contact a healthcare provider. Symptoms can occur within 48 hours. These include sore throat or congestion, coughing, wheezing or difficulty breathing; red or itchy skin or a rash; blisters or hives, earache or irritated eyes; diarrhea or vomiting, agitation, headaches or abdominal pain.