Hitting the news just days ahead of the most crowded lake weekend of the year, Oklahoma officials are urging caution as Blue Green Algae blooms are quickly populating in lakes all over the state. While it exists almost all summer long in most every body of water, when it blooms, experts try to educate the lake crowd on just how toxic these blooms can be. Just off the cuff, if you're exposed to this slimy foul smelling organism, the symptoms can range from a headache to general stomach pain, vomiting, and diarrhea. The toxins these blooms produce can irritate your skin, eyes, nose and throat, and if it's particularly potent, neurological issues can arise in the form of muscle weakness and dizziness. It does not sound fun at all.

Just before it started raining, we had pretty ideal conditions across the state for these algae blooms to take off, even if it's a little early in the season for it. Calm waters and hot temperatures make for smelly lakes. At least it's easy enough to spot so you can be sure to avoid a few days of misery after having a blast on the water.

If you've ever been out to the lake, odds are you've seen the algae and much that typically exists in the protected areas like coves and marinas. Places where the water isn't disturbed much allowing the water to heat up in those areas. You generally see it floating around the structure. A ring of nasty stuff around a rock, along the docks, even washing up the boat ramp. That's what you want to avoid. Luckily, this algae doesn't live and remain in the main body of most lakes... unless the conditions are right. All in all, if you don't see any warning signs posted in times of bloom, your safety is really up to you. You should know how to spot it and do your best to avoid it. Don't let your pets in it either. They're just as susceptible to becoming ill, and nobody wants that.

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