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Advisory issued for harmful algae blooms in Ennis Lake

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BOZEMAN – Harmful algae blooms have been detected along the north shore of Ennis Lake, including Kobayashi Beach west of the Madison Dam, according to a press release from NorthWestern Energy. Crews detected Anatoxin-a, an algal toxin that can pose risks to people, pets and livestock.

The harmful toxin was detected during routine monitoring at Kobayashi Beach and Meadow Lake Campground. Ingestion or long exposure to Anatoxin-a can cause illness in both humans and animals. Signs of exposure include muscle twitching, staggering, convulsions, paralysis and death.

Children and pets are the most likely to ingest the algae as it accumulates in shallow water where they often swim. Humans may also consume the algae through open-water activities such as water skiing and jet skiing.

Health experts recommend avoiding activities that may result in exposure as well as preventing pets and livestock from entering the water where the algae is present.

The toxin is caused by a blue-green algae that is native to Montana, and not all blue-green algae is toxic.

NorthWestern Energy and the Montana Department of Environmental Quality are continuing to monitor the blooms.

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