ST. PAUL  (AP) - As the Land of 10,000 Lakes starts to warm up, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency is warning that warm weather makes conditions right for Minnesota lakes to produce harmful blooms of algae.

The MPCA says a type of algae called "blue-green" algae can harm pets, livestock and even people.

Many types of blue-green algae are found throughout Minnesota, but thrive particularly in warm, shallow, nutrient-rich lakes. The blooms are often blown toward downwind shorelines, where humans and animals most often come in contact with them.

Harmful algal blooms generally look pretty nasty -- like pea soup, green paint, or floating mats of scum.

MPCA lakes specialist Steve Heiskary says it usually looks bad and smells bad.  So when in doubt, he says, it's best to keep out.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

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