Signs of harmful seaweed toxin were found in the Virgin River in St. George after the pup’s death

(Rick Egan | The Salt Lake Tribune) Signs near Provo Bay indicate harmful algae in parts of Utah Lake. Water experts are urging visitors to keep themselves, their pets and other animals away from Provo Bay after a potentially toxic blue-green algae bloom was discovered there on Tuesday, June 12, 2018.

The presence of a harmful algal bloom has been identified in the Virgin River in part of St. George.

The Utah Department of Environmental Quality announced Friday that a bloom has been detected in a section of the Virgin River between the area of ​​the RV Rental Pad senior housing community and the Mall Drive Bridge.

This stretch of river includes the local skimboard park and Fossil Falls Park.

Harmful algal blooms were originally discovered in 2020 in the North Fork of the Virgin River in Zion National Park after a pup died after exposure to the cyanobacterial toxin produced by the blooms. It has since been found in the Virgin River tributaries LaVerkin Creek and North Creek and now St. George.

Earlier this week, St. George News was informed of the death of a 7-month-old King Charles Cavalier puppy who had been rushed to Southwest Animal Emergency Hospital with “classic symptoms” of toxin exposure.

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This article is published by the Utah News Collaborative, a partnership of Utah news organizations whose goal is to educate readers across the state.

Justin Scaccy

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