AUSTIN, Texas — It’s becoming a regular summertime hazard for dog owners. Toxic algae bloom has been detected at a popular Austin water recreation area.

The Austin Watershed Protection Department this week reported the discovery at Red Bud Isle, an off-leash dog island where pups play in the water and run through woods.

Specifically, a sample collected on May 30 contained Dihydroanatoxin, a potent neurotoxin. Mats of algae were not detected at other locations including Lake Austin and Lady Bird Lake.

It should be noted that results take a week or two to come back and environmental conditions can change rapidly.

Several dogs died during the summer of 2019 after swimming in Lady Bird Lake. Blue-green algae, which is highly toxic, was discovered there that year and in 2020 and 2021.

Watershed recommends the following for all natural bodies of water:

People and Pets

  • Do not drink water directly from natural water bodies.
  • Avoid contact with algae.
  • Rinse skin or animal fur after contact with water.
  • Do not allow dogs to lick their fur prior to rinsing.

Do Not Enter Water a Natural Water Body If:

  • Water is warm or stagnant or you see scum, film or algae.
  • There has been rain in the past three days.
  • There are lots of dogs present.