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Tests Underway On Cyanobacteria Bloom In River Waters Above New Melones

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Sonora, CA — Concerns over a potentially hazardous algae bloom in a Mother Lode river have local health officials scrambling.

As Clarke Broadcasting reported on Friday here, the State Water Resources Control Board issued a warning about a cyanobacteria bloom located the Middle Fork of the Stanislaus River upstream of the New Melones reservoir.

Officials further urged recreaters to use extreme caution until further notice when accessing the area, particularly between the new Camp Nine Road and Parrotts Ferry Road bridges. However, they noted that bloom conditions in the river can change rapidly, as the flow of surface water and wind may mix, move, or concentrate the bloom into different areas. The bloom may appear as bright green, discolored water with suspended flecks of material near the surface that can evolve into a larger filmy or scum-like mass.

According to Tuolumne County Public Health spokesperson Michelle Jachetta, county public health and environmental health officials are working in tandem with their counterparts in Calaveras County and the Bureau of Reclamation (BOR) as the Water Board conducts tests. She says that results, expected early this week, should identify which, if any, toxins are present in the algal bloom and adds that in the meantime, signs are being posted in the affected areas.

 

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