Saturday, August 13, 2022
Aug. 13, 2022

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Cyanotoxin danger advisory issued for Vancouver Lake

By , Columbian Assistant Metro Editor

Clark County Public Health issued a danger advisory Wednesday for Vancouver Lake after test results found elevated levels of cyanotoxins in the water. Danger signs will be posted at the public access points to the lake.

The water samples, taken Monday, showed cyanotoxins above the threshold levels recommended by the Washington Department of Health, according to Public Health.

Blooms of cyanobacteria, also known as blue-green algae, are present at the swim beach, flushing channel and south entrance by the Shillapoo Wildlife area.

Public Health advises against all recreating in the lake, including swimming, kayaking, paddleboarding, canoeing and water skiing.

Blue-green algae can pose a significant health risk if the cyanobacteria or toxins are ingested, inhaled or come into contact with skin. Inhaled bacteria or toxins can cause wheezing, coughing, chest tightness and shortness of breath. Skin contact can lead to rash, itching, blisters and eye irritation.

If water with cyanotoxins is accidentally swallowed, symptoms can include abdominal pain, diarrhea, vomiting, numbness of the lips, tingling in fingers and toes, and dizziness. The toxins can be fatal to pets that drink the water.

Public Health said it has been monitoring cyanobacteria blooms at Vancouver Lake since June 1 and will continue to monitor the lake. Weekly water samples will be taken while blooms are present to test toxin levels. Signs will be updated as conditions change.

Vancouver Lake Regional Park remains open, and water in park restrooms and shelters remains safe to drink, Public Health said.

Public Health said a warning advisory remains in place at Lacamas and Round lakes due to elevated levels of cyanotoxins from blue-green algae. It advises against swimming and water skiing in all areas of the lakes.

Additional information about blue-green algae and current advisories are posted on the Public Health public beach website. To report algae blooms in other bodies of water, visit the Public Health website.

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