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You might not want to swim here, but make sure your dogs don’t either, for now.

Staff file: Robert Brown of Olympia casts his line over Offutt Lake during a trout fishing trip with his grandson, Cody Vezina, 4, in 2005. An algae bloom has been reported at the lake, according to Thurston County Public Health and Social Services.
Staff file: Robert Brown of Olympia casts his line over Offutt Lake during a trout fishing trip with his grandson, Cody Vezina, 4, in 2005. An algae bloom has been reported at the lake, according to Thurston County Public Health and Social Services. toverman@theolympian.com

A blue-green algae bloom has been reported at Offutt Lake, north of Tenino, prompting a warning from Thurston County Public Health and Social Services.

“During algae blooms, please avoid contact with lake water, especially areas with visible algae or algae scum on the surface,” health officials wrote in a news release on Tuesday. “Keep pets and children out of the water. When fishing, it is safest to catch and release any fish caught during an algae bloom.”

Not all blooms are toxic, but some produce toxins that can affect nerves, the skin, liver and gastrointestinal tract, according to the health department. Last spring, Summit Lake was closed to fishing and swimming and residents were asked to stop using the lake’s water in their homes after tests showed that an algae bloom contained extremely high levels of Anatoxin-A, a neurotoxin.

For more information on the algae bloom, call Anna Fretheim with Water Quality at 360-867-2653.

Lisa Pemberton: 360-754-5433, @Lisa_Pemberton

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