Signs of harmful algal toxin found in Virgin River in St. George following puppy’s death

(Rick Egan | The Salt Lake Tribune) Signs near Provo Bay worn of harmful algae on parts of Utah Lake. Water experts are urging visitors to keep themselves, their pets and other animals out of Provo Bay after detecting a potentially toxic blue-green algal bloom there, Tuesday, June 12, 2018.

The presence of a harmful algal bloom has been detected in the Virgin River through a part of St. George.

The Utah Department of Environmental Quality announced Friday that the presence of a bloom was found in a segment of the Virgin River between the area of the RV Rental Pad senior community and Mall Drive Bridge.

This stretch of the river includes the local skimboard park and Fossil Falls Park.

Harmful algal blooms were originally discovered in the North Fork of the Virgin River in Zion National Park in 2020 following the death of a puppy that was exposed to the cyanobacterial toxin the blooms produce. It has since been found in the Virgin River tributaries of LaVerkin Creek and North Creek and now in St. George.

Earlier this week St. George News was told of the death of a 7-month-old King Charles Cavalier puppy that had been taken to the Southwest Animal Emergency Hospital with “classic symptoms” of toxin exposure.

Read the full story at StGeorgeUtah.com.

This article is published through the Utah News Collaborative, a partnership of news organizations in Utah that aim to inform readers across the state.