JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) – Some sort of rust-colored biological mass has appeared in the waters of Juneau’s Gastineau Channel.

The Juneau Empire reports Department of Fish and Game habitat biologist Kate Kanouse says the red mass has not been identified but it could be an algae bloom brought on by rising water temperatures.

Kanouse says Juneau’s warm summer may be a factor. She says she doesn’t expect the red mass to be dangerous.

Some algae blooms can be harmful. Research oceanographer Vera Trainer of the Northwest Fisheries Science Center says blooms can cause a lack of oxygen in the water, harming fish.

Trainer says many Alaskans are familiar with blooms that harm shellfish.

The blooms result in an accumulation of toxins in shellfish that can be dangerous to humans.

Information from: Juneau (Alaska) Empire, http://www.juneauempire.com

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