(WJET/WFXP/YourErie.com) — Harmful algal blooms have created dangerous swimming conditions for dogs in Erie County.
A total of 16 beaches and water access points have been deemed dangerous to dogs following beach water testing results published by Erie County.
Presque Isle State Park warnings include Vista 3, the marina, Niagara Boat Launch, Horseshoe Pond, Perry Monument, Beach 6 and Beach 2.
Other sites on Lake Erie include Avonia Beach, Freeport Beach, Shades Beach, Walnut Creek, Liberty Park and Dobbins Landing. Three other warnings are in North East at Smith Reservoir, Grahamville Reservoir and Eaton Reservoir.
The Erie County website notes that “harmful algal blooms” are a misnomer — it is not algae, but rather a bacteria that acts like algae. It can be seen on the surface of the water in colors like blue, green, white, brown or red.
Dogs have specific warnings because their threshold is lower than people. They ingest water when they swim, and they lick their fur when they get out of the water making them more susceptible to higher doses of the harmful bacteria.