Harmful Algal Bloom in Hill County

Sightings of possible harmful algal bloom in Hill County's Bailey Reservoir. Photo by Montana Dept. of Public Health and Human Services.

HILL COUNTY - From lakes to rivers, Montana has plenty of sites for swimming and fishing, but Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks says they want people to be cautious after finding potentially harmful algal blooms (HAB) in parts of the state.


The state Dept. of Environmental Quality spotted a bloom around the edges of Bailey Reservoir’s fishing access site, roughly four and a half hours northwest of Missoula.


They can look like grass clippings, pea soup or green latex paint, floating near the water’s surface. They sometimes have toxins, which brings health risks for you and your pet like skin irritation, vomiting and headaches.


So far, there have been five sightings of HAB total, across Hill, Ravalli, Gallatin and Lewis & Clark Counties. If you see any in your area, you shouldn’t drink or swim in the water.


If you feel someone or livestock has symptoms of coming into contact with HAB, you’re asked to call Poison Control immediately at 1-800-222-1222.


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