by Rob Malcolm


OROVILLE (CBS13) — After warning people for weeks to avoid the water, the Department of Water Resources lifted the caution advisory for the Thermalito Afterbay in Lake Oroville.

The advisory remained in effect for the middle fork after algae were discovered.

At the Bidwell Canyon, boat launch boaters say the algae is something they deal with every summer.

“This has been the third or fourth year we’ve had the algae blooms in the middle fork so it’s kind of common,” said Jaimie Hayes, who was launching a kayak with a friend.

The California State Water Board says microbes in the water combined with hot temperatures cause the algae blooms and we could be seeing more of it this summer.

READ: California Taps Clean Air Money To Pay For Drinking Water

The algae is dangerous to children and dogs and can cause symptoms which include irritated eyes, skin rashes, and vomiting. Pets can even die in some cases.

Mike David, who was also on the water, was unaware of the potential danger.

“We swam in it we and then we found out what it was and we didn’t get sick or anything..so I’m not too scared about it,” said David.

The State Water Board recommends people follow the posted advisories. Stay away from algae and scum in the water and shore. Watch children and pets closely. Don’t drink river or lake water and clean fish thoroughly.

It’s something Jaimie Hayes is always thinking about.

“Definitely don’t drink the water and if it looks yucky don’t swim in it,” Hayes said.

ALSO: Water Flowing Through Oroville Main Spillway After Repairs

The algae come in a variety of colors usually appearing like thick neon paint floating on the water’s surface. Up and down the lake, Oroville people were listening to the warnings.

“We don’t go up the middle fork when the algae is bad and when it’s the hotter times of the year,” said David.

The State Water Board has three levels of warnings. First a caution, then a warning followed by a danger.

Officials told CBS13 that algae is normal at this time of year and although a caution advisory was announced no toxins were reported in the water which is regularly tested.

It remains important for people to be aware of their surroundings when enjoying the water and remain cautious.

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