Record Warm Lake Temps Could Be Deadly For Your Dog
It's been a summer of record-breaking temperatures, and that goes for the region's waterways, too.
According to the Weather Channel, the Great Lakes are running about 6 to 11 degrees higher than normal, and the shallower lakes like Lake Erie, are near 80 degrees.
The Telegraph reports Lake Ontario Ontario's average water temperature was 77.1 degrees on July 10, which is 10+ degrees above normal.
The Weather Channel notes our area, "recently set an all-time record in its nearly 150 years of taking observations, with eight straight days of temperatures that hit 90 degrees or higher."
The above-average temperatures coupled with recent rain make for favorable conditions for an algae bloom, and coming into contact with the toxic blue-green algae found in many of Western New York's waterways can make you sick, and even kill your pet.
An article in the Genesee County Express explains the dangers:
"Blue-green algae, a naturally occurring form of photosynthetic bacteria, can proliferate wildly, or bloom, under the right conditions. Some forms of the organism release toxins that can be harmful to the health of people, pets and other animals that drink or come in contact with the water."
The Department of Environmental Conservation has a real-time map that reports sites of blue-green algae blooms all over New York State. You can organize reports of blooms by waterway, or county.
Before you head out to enjoy the water with your pet, check to see if there have been existing reports.
You can usually spot an algae bloom yourself -- the water will look like thin green paint, or have a stagnant odor.