Algae bird
A bird is shown covered by the mysterious green algae that has blanketed parts of Hamilton Harbour.
A green slime has hit Hamilton Harbour, coating wildlife and causing a stink.

The inlets near Macassa Bay Yacht Club and Bayfront Park have been blanketed with pungent-smelling algae, though neither the city's public health department nor local boaters know if it's dangerous.

"It sounds like something we should go down and have a look at," said Bob Hart of the city's public health department.

In August, a bloom of potentially toxic blue-green algae appeared in the west end of the harbour.

Known as cyanobacteria, blue-green algae can secrete toxins into the water that can be harmful to humans, pets and wildlife.

Hart says the city stops monitoring the water in the harbour after Labour Day, although it will test the area today.

Members of the Macassa Bay Yacht Club say the water has been green for weeks and they've noticed a higher-than-usual number of dead birds in the area.

Yacht club member Chris Wenmann says although there are usually algae blooms in the area each year, this batch is smellier, longer-lasting and more concentrated.

"The first time I saw it, I thought, 'What idiot threw green paint in the water?' because that's what it looks like," said Wenmann, who spends the summer living on his boat with his wife, Jackie.

They've been docking in Hamilton Harbour for 12 years and say they've never seen anything like this.

"It's started to get blue - it looks like mould," said Jackie Wenmann.