Blue-green algae bloom detected in Vancouver Lake

Park remains open; health officials advise against contact with water

By Marissa Harshman, Columbian health reporter

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Clark County Public Health and Vancouver-Clark Parks and Recreation have issued an advisory for Vancouver Lake after detecting a blue-green algae bloom.

Vancouver Lake Regional Park will remain open to the public, however, health officials are advising people to avoid direct contact with the water. Blue-green algae produces toxins that can be harmful to people and deadly for small pets that drink the water.

Health officials advise against swimming, wading, windsurfing and sailboarding in Vancouver Lake.

“It is especially important to keep children out of the lake because they are more likely than adults to swallow some of the water,” Dr. Alan Melnick, Clark County health officer, said in a news release.

Health officials also recommend no water contact for animals and caution against contact with the water while boating or fishing.

Eating fish out of the lake is considered safe as long as organs where toxins can build up, such as the liver and kidneys, are removed and people wash their hands after cleaning fish, according to health officials.

Warning signs have been posted at the lake and will remain as long as there is a visible bloom. Public health officials will continue to monitor the lake for blooms for the remainder of the summer.

Water in the restrooms and shelters is unaffected by the lake water and remains safe to drink.