Would-be swimmers are advised to avoid Carver Lake Beach due to the presence of potentially dangerous blue-green algae.

The Ramsey-Washington Watershed District confirmed the presence of blue-green algae in Carver Lake Friday, Aug. 25, according to the city of Woodbury website. The type of blue-green algae present is known to produce toxins that can be harmful to pets and humans.

"Not all blue-green algal blooms produce toxins; however, there is no way to predict if or when a bloom will produce toxins. For this reason it is best to avoid contact and stay out of the water," according to the notice.

Blue-green algal blooms are actually types of bacteria called cyanobacteria, which thrive in warm, nutrient-rich water during the summer and early fall, according to the Minnesota Department of Health. The blooms are described as looking like pea soup or spilled green paint.

Potential health effects include vomiting, diarrhea, rash, eye irritation, cough, sore throat, and headache. Symptoms generally begin hours to 2 days after exposure.

Pets, especially dogs, are susceptible to harmful algae because of the amount of water they swallow while swimming, the MDH says.

For more information, visit http://www.health.state.mn.us/divs/idepc/diseases/hab/hab.html.