FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) — Officials from Sierra National Forest (SNF) warned visitors of the Merced River at Hites Cove Tuesday of toxic algae that is present in the area.

The SNF says the “toxic algal mats” can be attached to the bottom, detached and floating, or washed up onshore.

Anyone who encounters the algal mats is asked to not let children or adults touch, eat or swallow them, and to not let dogs eat mats or drink from the water.

If a person or pet gets sick after encountering the toxic algae, SNF says to immediately contact a doctor or veterinarian.

For more information about toxic algal mats, visit the ca.gov website.