The presence of blue-green algae is suspected at Chalk Ridge Falls at Stillhouse Hollow Lake, and is responsible for the site's temporary closure.

Earlier in the year, Army Corps of Engineers tested the waters at Belton lake and found evidence of the presence of blue-green algae blooms, which are not only dangerous to dogs, but people as well.

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Now, according to a press release, Army Corps of Engineers are closing Chalk Ridge Falls at Stillhouse Hollow Lake after a dog developed respiratory problems on August 21 and had to be euthanized.

PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE, do not allow your pet to swim or drink in still bodies of water.

I understand that it's hot, and you want to let your dog enjoy a splash, but the danger is real.

According to the ASPCA, signs of blue-green algae toxicity include:

  • Seizures
  • Panting
  • Excessive drooling
  • Respiratory failure
  • Diarrhea
  • Disorientation
  • Vomiting
  • Liver failure
  • Ultimately death

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers recommends that people and pets stay out of water that has visible colored surface films, scum layers, and/or algae mats. You should also avoid stagnant areas where there’s little to no water movement and where the water has a bad odor.

Until the cause of this incident is understood, the Corps of Engineers personnel at Stillhouse Hollow Lake will keep Chalk Ridge Falls Park temporarily closed. Lake staff are already working with other agencies to develop a plan to sample and test the water to confirm the presences of cyanobacteria and associated toxins.

I'm the kind of person that prefers to play it safe, so I never allow my pup to come anywhere close to a lake. Still bodies of water are notoriously dirty, and I'd rather not take the chance with my health or my doggo's.

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