STATEWIDE—The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) is urging anglers and other recreational water users to be vigilant about checking for harmful freshwater algal blooms (HABs) while out enjoying California’s lakes, reservoirs, rivers, streams and creeks this year.
These blooms can produce toxins and taste and odor compounds that pose health risks to humans and animals. When blooms pose a risk, they are referred to as harmful algal blooms or HABs.
Children and pets, especially dogs, are particularly susceptible to HABs because of their smaller body size, increased potential to swallow water while swimming and tendency to stay in the water longer.
Symptoms of HAB-related illness in people and animals are available at the California HABs portal human health and domestic animal pages, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and by contacting the California Poison Control Center (1-800-222-1222). If you, your children, or your pet experiences these symptoms after potential HAB exposure, contact your doctor or veterinarian.
These toxins also can accumulate in fish and shellfish to levels that pose threats to people and wildlife. Specifically, these chemicals accumulate in the guts of fish and in shellfish. For this reason, only cleaned fish fillets and no shellfish consumption is recommended if a HAB is present and an advisory is posted at the “Caution” or “Warning” level. If a “Danger” advisory is posted, no water contact or fish consumption is recommended.