WASHINGTON, NC (WITN) - State experts are telling people to avoid potentially harmful algae blooms in the Pamlico River.
The North Carolina Dept. of Environmental Quality says the blooms are now showing up in several places in Beaufort County, including the Pamlico, Swan Point, Pantego Creek, Bath Creek, Back Creek, Goose Creek, Duck Creek, Yeats Creek, Runyon Creek, Chocowinity Bay, Broad Creek, Moores Beach and Washington Park. Algae blooms have also been observed at the headwaters of Bay River and Trent Creek in Pamlico County.
The state says bluegreen algae has been spotted, which can produce cyanotoxins. Those blooms can cause illness in people and pets.
Already, thousands of dead fish have been reported in the Pamlico. The Pamlico-Tar riverkeeper says the kill is likely due that some of the algae bloom last week is starting to die off, causing low oxygen conditions in the river.
Experts say while it is safe to boat and fish in the waters, the Division of Public Health says people should avoid contact, and prevent children and pets from swimming in or ingesting water in an algae bloom.
The state says you should not handle or cook dead fish in the area.
The Dept. of Environmental Quality says so far they've had no reports of health problems with people associated with this algae bloom.