TOLEDO, Ohio (13abc Action News) - From a distance, the waters of the Maumee River in Toledo look perfectly fine. But at closer look, it's hard to miss the bright green algae floating on the surface.
"We have a high algal bloom, elevated level. the advisory is don't have contact," said Eric Zgodzinski with the Toledo-Lucas County Health Department.
The health department warns people and pets to avoid contact with the water. The advisory applies especially to children, people with health conditions, and pregnant and nursing moms.
"I've been around a long time and it's the worst I've ever seen it," said Jim Phipps of Perrysburg.
He fishes along the banks of the river in downtown Toledo frequently. Like many in our area, Phipps says he wants something done about the toxic sludge.
"I think it's messing up the fishing because when it was clear earlier this morning we were getting bites," said Phipps. "But what that stuff on top, I don't know."
The stagnate algae is also causing problems for organizers of Saturday's Frogtown Regatta, as the boat race exposes people to the river's water.
"We're definitely concerned about the health and safety of our spectators, as well as our competitors out on the water," said the regatta's executive director Amy Massamore.
The premiere boating event brings thousands of people, and dollars, to our area every year. That's why leaders are working hard to keep the race on course.
"We are working with some city vendors in regard to bringing in extra water allowing people to rinse off after the race if they'd like to," said Massamore.
With environmental conditions not expected to improve until next week, people with plans on the water will have to wait until the algae moves out.