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Pet Owners should be aware of blue-green algae

As the “dog days” of summer roll on, South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks (GFP) officials would like to warn pet owners of blue-green algae blooms appearing in ponds and lakes across the state.

“Blue-green algae blooms happen every year when summer really gets hot,” said GFP regional fisheries manager Mark Ermer. “It’s nearly impossible to tell if algae in a pond or lake are poisonous or not, so we recommend not letting dogs swim in a body of water that has a visible layer of thick, floating algae on the surface. Even one drink of water that has a blue-green algae bloom can be fatal for dogs.”

Though most often a blue-green color, the algae can also be blue, green, reddish-purple or brown.

“Blue-green algae blooms are caused by cyanobacteria, which grow particularly well in slow-moving or stagnant water with high phosphorus or nitrogen content,” said Mendel Miller, South Dakota Assistant State Veterinarian. “Some of these cyanobacteria may produce dangerous toxins which, if ingested, can lead to liver or nervous system damage in animals. These toxins cause serious damage quickly, so prompt medical care is critical following potential exposures.”

Anyone observing what they believe is a harmful algae bloom should contact their local GFP office or the South Dakota Department of Environment and Natural Resources at 605-773-4729.

Wyoming anglers are catching trophy-sized fish

Anglers across Wyoming are catching trophy-sized fish, and lots of them. These fishermen and women have submitted more than 190 applications with photos, lengths and catch locations to the Wyoming Game and Fish Department’s Master Angler program. The new program launched in June to inspire people to fish more.

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“Fishing is great in Wyoming, and it will only get better throughout the rest of the summer and fall,” said Mark Smith, Game and Fish assistant fisheries management coordinator. “The numbers of trophy fish folks are catching is very impressive.”

Qualifying fish represent Wyoming’s 95th percentile in length for 24 eligible species. The trophy length requirements were set based on historical Game and Fish sample data.

Species with the most submissions over the last two months were crappie, cutthroat trout, rainbow trout and walleye. No one has submitted an approved burbot, golden trout, grayling, sauger, shovelnose sturgeon or tiger muskie. The top-trophy yielding waters include Glendo, Hawk Springs and Keyhole Reservoirs as well as the North Platte River.

CWD working group take first steps on recommendations in Wyoming

Members of the chronic wasting disease collaborative working group recently gathered for their first meeting in Lander. The group took the first steps on formulating recommendations to the Wyoming Game and Fish Department for the state’s chronic wasting disease management plan. The collaborative effort is being facilitated by the Ruckelshaus Institute, Haub School of Environmental and Natural Resources with the University of Wyoming.

Game and Fish Director Brian Nesvik addressed the members and provided information on the direction and outcomes he would like to see from the collaborative process.

“The great diversity of this group, and the facilitation by Dr. Jessica Western from the Ruckelshaus Institute, is critical to the success of this public process,” said Nesvik. “CWD is a challenging disease, and Game and Fish wants to hear from the public on how the department should move forward. This working group’s communication with their constituents is a direct line to hear from the public.”

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