This is a file photo of what it can look like when in full bloom


Watertown, South Dakota – Lakes Kampeska and Pelican are currently experiencing algae blooms due to nutrient rich spring runoff. Roger Foote is the Project Coordinator for the Upper Big Sioux River Watershed Project.

People and pets are encouraged to avoid shorelines with the teal blue “bathtub” ring or “pea soup” waves and foam. Depending on the weather, blooms could last from a few days to more than a week.

The dominant algae found on Lake Pelican is Ahanizomenon, an important genus of cyanobacteria that inhabits freshwater lakes and can cause dense blooms. The dominant algae on Lake Kampeska is Anabaena, another genus of cyanobacteria that exist as plankton.

Both species can produce neurotoxins, which if ingested, are harmful to local wildlife, as well as farm animals and pets.