algae blooms

Photos courtesy of DEQ

As the summer season ramps up, so does the possibility of Harmful Cyanobacteria Blooms (HCBs). Also known as blue-green algae, cyanobacteria are found in many bodies of water worldwide. They're normally harmless, but when their growth explodes and forms a bloom, they can release toxic chemicals into the water around them. They can cause symptoms in people ranging from skin irritation to liver damage, and they can be deadly to animals.

Maggie Mullen


One day last June, Susannah Roberts and her boyfriend, Reilly Davis, drove out to Leazenby Lake, just outside of Laramie, Wyoming. They had their black lab Teton with them, and they fished in the clear water.

Wyoming Department of Health

So far this year, the Wyoming Department of Health has issued algae bloom advisories for 16 lakes and reservoirs across the state, a spike that mirrors the record number potentially toxic blooms across the country in 2019, as counted by the nonprofit Environmental Working Group.

Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality

Several state departments are warning Wyoming residents about the risks of algal blooms.