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Blue-green algae found in Lake Munson is dangerous for humans and pets

Lake Munson
Nick Evans
WFSU Public Media

Blue-green algae has bloomed on Lake Munson on the southeast side of Tallahassee. Laboratory tests found no toxins in the bloom. The Florida Department of Health is advising people to not swim, wade, use personal watercraft, water ski, or boat in waters where there is visible bloom.

Blue-green algae can be identified by discolored water and floating mats that emit unpleasant odors. The department also says the algae is unsafe for pets, and that they should have a different source of water while algae blooms are present. It is also possible that the algae can produce toxins in the air, and those who are sensitive to smells may experience respiratory irritation.

Several fishing blogs and websites have written about bass fishing on Lake Munson. One site identified it as one of the better bass fishing spots in Leon County. The department says fillets of fish impacted by the bloom can still be consumed if they are rinsed with tap or bottled water, the guts are thrown out, and the fish is cooked well.

Blue-green algae blooms are common in Florida, and even more so in the summer months. Symptoms of those affected by the algae include rashes, stomach cramps, nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, and respiratory irritation. Someone who comes in contact with the algae should immediately leave the area and wash off with soap and water.

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Brett Rutherford is a reporter and news researcher at WFSU Pubic Media. From Riverview, Florida, he has earned both a bachelor’s and master’s degree from Florida State University. During his time at Florida State, he was a reporter within the sports department at WVFS, the student-run on-campus radio station. In 2020, he served as Sports Director during his senior year and hosted the weekly talk show Tomahawk Talk.

Email Brett: brutherford2@fsu.edu