This stuff is no joke and it is NOT something to be messed with.

Authorities are warning summer travelers to Michigan's Upper Peninsula to be wary of algal blooms in several lakes up north.

The Western Upper Peninsula Health Department has issued a Cyanobacteria harmful algal bloom (HAB) recreational public health advisory for several UP lakes including Portage Lake, Portage Canal, and Torch Lake in Houghton County.

This is what an algal bloom looks like:

It's got a pea-soup consistency and sometimes looks like paint streaks. People are encouraged NOT to have direct body contact or swallowing water with HABS. It's also very dangerous to pets; please keep your dogs safe this weekend. HABS contains a toxin that can be deadly to dogs.

If you or your pet get sick from an algal bloom, you're encouraged to call Poison Control at 1-800-222-1222.

From personal experience, I can tell you that algal blooms are NOTHING to be messed with. When I was 13, I went swimming in a lake over a holiday weekend in Wisconsin with my cousin and my sister. I was unaware that there was an algal bloom in the lake and woke up the next day with a horrific case of swimmers ear. It landed me in the hospital within two days and I still have hearing loss to this day in that ear.

Don't mess around. Be safe this weekend, especially if you're on the water. It's not worth the risk.

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