RICE -- Reports of toxic blue-green algae are starting to appear on Little Rock Lake near Rice. It has the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency warning pet owners to keep their animals out of the water.

The MPCA's Steve Heiskary says they have a saying...."when in doubt, stay out."  The MPCA reminds you to keep pets out of the water where blue-green algae is present. He says the toxins can kill pets if they drink the water. In humans, they can cause nausea and irritation of the skin, eye, nose and throat.

This year the heavy rains in May and June washed a large amount of nutrients into Minnesota lakes and streams. Those nutrients, including phosphorus, help feed the algae growth. The recent stretch of warm, calm weather has brought good conditions for blue-green algae in lakes.

Blue-green algae blooms are thick and cloudy, and can look like green paint or floating mats of scum.