Published: Oct 23, 2010 10:12 PM EDT
Updated: Oct 23, 2010 7:12 PM EDT

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - Coast Guard crews are checking on an area of brown or dark red water near a Mississippi River pass south of New Orleans to see whether it's oil or an algae bloom.       

Jeff Hall, spokesman for the Unified Area Command, says the Coast Guard sent two flights Saturday morning over the West Bay area near Venice. One boat was in the area and another was headed there.
Hall told The Associated Press that if the discolored water has hydrocarbons, tests will be done to determine whether the oil came from the BP spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

The Times-Picayune reported in its Saturday editions that fishermen have spotted what appeared to be miles-long strings of weathered oil.