Harmful algal blooms reported at Lake Helena and Hauser Reservoir Causeway

INDEPENDENT RECORD

Caution advisories have been issued for harmful algal blooms at the Lake Helena Wildlife Management Area boat launch and the nearby Hauser Reservoir Causeway.

The advisory for Lake Helena was issued Thursday, after teal blue/turquoise foamy patches mixed with other floating algae and vegetation was observed. Some larger patches had a light blue, stringy appearance extending below the water surface, according to a description provided to the Montana Department of Environmental Quality.

The advisory for the Hauser Reservoir Causeway was issued July 23, after a kayaker reported splotches of turquoise on the surface of the water along the shoreline. 

Two caution advisories were previously issued on Canyon Ferry Lake. One was issued July 14 near the Hellgate Campground and one was issued July 9 in the Duck Creek area. 

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Public health officials urge people to know the health risks of the blooms, also known as HABs, which are caused by blue-green algae that are native to Montana’s freshwater lakes and reservoirs. They could produce toxins that can harm people, pets and livestock.

Not all varieties are harmful, but some can produce dangerous cyanotoxin. Blue-green algae blooms often look

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