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News / Health / Clark County Health

Clark County Public Health issues cyanotoxin warning for Vancouver Lake

The Columbian
Published: July 19, 2023, 1:28pm

Clark County Public Health issued a warning advisory at Vancouver Lake due to high levels of harmful algae, or cyanotoxins.

Officials recommend to avoid swimming in or drinking lake water, as well as minimizing pet contact with the water. Steer clear from boating, boarding, kayaking or canoeing in areas that have scum. For those who fish in the lake, clean your catch thoroughly and discard organs.

Water sampling from Monday showed cyanotoxin levels exceeded the Washington Department of Health standards. Public Health will continue to monitor Vancouver Lake and sample water as algae blooms remain.

Exposure to cyanotoxins, whether ingested or inhaled, can be harmful to people, particularly children, and deadly to small animals. Symptoms include coughing, wheezing, chest tightness and shortness of breath, as well as abdominal pain, diarrhea and vomiting. Skin contact can cause rashes, itching, blisters and eye irritation.

Public Health also issued an identical advisory for Lacamas Lake, which remains in effect.

For more information, visit Public Health’s public beach website at www.clark.wa.gov/public-health/public-beaches.