Algae are microscopic organisms that can be found naturally in all types of water. Sometimes algae rapidly grow out of control, or bloom. In Arizona, a bloom of blue-green algae can produce toxins (poisons), which can cause serious illness in people and animals, and in rare cases can be deadly. These blooms are known as harmful algal blooms or HABs.
What Does Harmful Algae Look Like?
Harmful blue-green algae can:
Look like pea soup or spilled green paint
Discolor or leave streaks in the water
Be surface scum, mats or films
Appear as green dots or globs floating below the surface
Another type of algae commonly found in Arizona is golden algae. A bloom of golden algae can cause a fish kill, but there is no evidence that golden algae is harmful to humans or animals. However, it is advised that people not eat fish impacted by a golden algae bloom. Fish kills and golden algae blooms can be reported to the Arizona Game and Fish Department | Learn More >
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