No toxic algae in Lake Tahoe, tests show |

No toxic algae in Lake Tahoe, tests show

Ryan Hoffman
Special to The Union
Officials say test results show there is no toxic blue-green algae present in Lake Tahoe.
Justine Dhollande / Tahoe Daily Tribune

LAKE TAHOE — The test results are in and they appear to give an “all clear” to the possible presence of toxic algae in Lake Tahoe.

Samples taken from the lake found no cyanobacteria, also referred to as blue-green algae, and no quantifiable toxins, according to Doug Smith, assistant executive officer with the Lahontan Regional Water Quality Control Board.

“We found no evidence to recommend posting a caution (sign),” Smith told the Tahoe Daily Tribune on Friday.

Samples were taken last week from the shoreline near the Tallac Historic Site where a dog had reportedly played just hours before dying.

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Dogs are especially susceptible to toxic algae.

Four dogs died in southern states after reportedly playing in bodies of water where the algae was present.

While toxic algal blooms are happening more often, Lake Tahoe does not have many of the characteristics that facilitate rapid growth.

“I would not expect to see it in the near-shore of Tahoe where you have the wave action and everything. And the wave action oxygenates the water and the (cyanobacteria) doesn’t like oxygen …” Smith said.

Ultimately it will be the Forest Service’s decision on whether the caution signs remain posted at the site.

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