Authorities discovered a harmful bacteria in High Rock Lake in Davidson County after state officials investigated a complaint at the lake. No injuries were reported.

The Davidson County Health Department reported that cyanobacteria, a blue-green algae, was found in the lake, the agency said in a statement. Three state agencies, the N.C. Division of Water Sciences, the N.C. Division of Water Resources and N.C. Department of Environment, investigated the complaint about the bacteria.

A water sample tested positive for Lyngbya wollei, which is a filamentous cyanobacteria that is common in North Carolina, the Davidson County Health Department said.

It tends to form large growths on the lake bottoms that can detach and float to the surface as thick black mats, the health department said. This is the first reported incidence on Lyngbya wollei in High Rock Lake, but officials at several other North Carolina reservoirs such as Lake Gaston are trying to manage Lyngbya infestations, the agency said.

State health officials recommend the following steps to protect children and pets from cyanobacterial blooms:

  • Keep children and pets away from water that appear discolored or scummy.
  • Do not handle or touch large accumulations of algae.
  • Do not water ski or jet ski over algal mats.
  • Do not use scummy water for cleaning or irrigation.
  • If pets stumble, stagger, or collapse after being in a pond, lake or river, seek veterinary care immediately.
  • If your child appears ill after being in waters containing a bloom, seek medical care immediately.
  • If you are unsure whether a bloom is present, stay out of the water.
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