With the oh-so-slow transition from summer to fall looming, the inevitable warnings of toxins in Montana lakes start to "bloom."

The folks in the Seeley Lake area have seen their share of potentially harmful algae blooms in some of their lakes in recent years, such as Seeley, Salmon and Placid. But they don't get all the slimy green goodies to themselves.

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks reports that harmful algae blooms are currently present along the north shore of Ennis Lake near the Madison Dam. Its relatively shallow waters and weather conditions have created a recipe for risk to people, pets, and livestock. And naturally, as Labor Day Weekend is upon us, Montana recreation lovers might be pushing the envelope a bit to get in one last big weekend of summer fun.

The mini scientific explanation has to do with it getting closer to the time of year those algae blooms can flourish because of temperature patterns and changes in nutrients. But the big issue is how harmful they can be and why extra caution should be taken in waters that are affected.

Montana FWP warns that contact with the algal bloom - especially any ingestion - could result in illness. And the symptoms are not pleasant. If you notice yourself or others dealing with twitching muscles, staggering or convulsions, please take it seriously.

While not common, these symptoms can lead to paralysis or death. And kids and pets are very vulnerable, wading in shallow waters where algae blooms can accumulate.

It's pretty easy to ingest some water while you're swimming, water skiing or out in the kayak, inner tube or canoe. Colors and textures tend to give algae blooms away. It's best to respect and avoid. Hopefully, this will not be an issue where you might be recreating this weekend.

Yellowstone National Park Rebuilds After Historic Flooding

After catastrophic flooding damaged portions of Yellowstone National Park in June of 2022, major reconstruction was necessary to make the park passable again. The following are photos of the improvement projects at Old Gardiner Road and the Northeast Entrance Road. All photos are courtesy of the National Park Service, photographer Jacob W. Frank.

Missoula TOTFEST 2022 Photos


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