If you're out at a lake this weekend, you might want to check for a form of toxic algae before taking a dip.
The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency says the hot, dry conditions have been perfect for blue-green algae to form on lakes in parts of Minnesota.
"Right now we are seeing pretty intense blue-green algae blooms across southern and western Minnesota," said Pam Anderson, who supervises the MPCA's lakes and streams monitoring unit. "It's more prevalent in the shallow lakes. So we've been seeing scum up on the shoreline, localized fish kills, really intensely green water."
Anderson said people should look for surface scum near the shoreline that looks like oil paint. It can be green, blue, gray or other colors and often has a musty smell.
She said people should take special care with pets and small children who might venture into a lake despite the foul-looking water.
The algae feed off of phosphorus, which is prevalent in many Minnesota lakes.
Blue-green algae have been blamed for dog deaths in the past. Anderson said the MPCA has received many reports of blue-green algae in southern and western Minnesota in recent days but no pet deaths have been reported so far.