SEATTLE -- People are reporting a lot of red or orange streaks in Puget Sound in the last two weeks.
Some are worried it could be what scientists call a harmful algae bloom or HAB. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says these occur when some microscopic algae produce toxins that kill fish and make shellfish dangerous to eat.
The most common type of the reddish streaks is a harmless algae bloom, and the Washington Department of Ecology has no reason at this point to suspect there is anything dangerous about blooms being noticed in several areas of Puget Sound.
State agencies depend on the public to report these events so they can quickly test them and, if necessary, close beaches where harmful do occur.
Certain seasons produce more of the blooms and Spring 2014 appears to be one of those seasons.