Boat races this weekend at reservoir with toxic algae bloom

LOWELL, Ore. - Spectators headed for the drag boat races at Dexter Reservoir this weekend should enjoy the competition - and stay out of the water.

A public health alert for potentially toxic blue-green algae remains in effect at Dexter Reservoir. State health officials issued a notice July 3 advising the public to avoid drinking or touching the water.

The algae bloom killed a 16-month-old black lab named Axel on Tuesday after he swam in the water downstream of the dam while his owner fished.

"You shouldn't inhale the water, you shouldn't get it on your skin, children shouldn't go in the water," said Julie Whalen, Lane County Parks manager. "We put up signs - people don't necessarily read the signs."

The reservoir remains open for use, the Army Corps of Engineers confirmed.

On Saturday and Sunday, Columbia River Drag Boats hosts the second race of the year at Dexter Reservoir. The Bi-Mart Summer Clash starts at 9 a.m. each day.