On August 16th, residents at the Tahoe Keys reported seeing an algae bloom in the water. After numerous tests, officials have found the algae to be toxic to people and animals.

Carol McCauley has lived in the Tahoe Keys for several decades and she says algae blooms growing in the canals is nothing new.

“It comes and it goes with nature and we have no control over it,” said McCauley.

But now that the harmful blue-green algae has been discovered in her neighborhood, she has a message for visitors and residents who have dogs like her.

“Please keep your dogs on leashes don't let them go into the water because we have this problem."

Doug Smith with the Lahontan Water Board says the combination of warm temperatures and nutrient rich water is the reason low level toxins are developing in the algae.

“Take caution, stay out of it, don't drink the water, keep your pets out and everybody's good,” said Smith. “It's at a very low level, not at a danger level, but at a caution level they should be aware of."

However, the toxin levels are just high enough that officials are looking for solutions. Paddlewheel harvesting recently ramped up in the Tahoe Keys to help circulate the waters, and the algae bloom is already dissipating.

"It can last for a couple days, or up to a couple of weeks,” said Smith.

According to the Tahoe Keys Property Owners Association, the algae has not harmed any animals or people. However, if you or a pet get sick after going in the water, call a doctor or veterinarian.