Clark County Public Health closes Lacamas Lake and Round Lake due to elevated toxin levels

Results from water samples taken from Lacamas Lake and Round Lake on Monday revealed cyanotoxins above the recommended threshold levels

VANCOUVER — Clark County Public Health has closed Lacamas Lake and Round Lake in Camas after test results revealed elevated levels of cyanotoxins in the water.

Danger signs are being posted at public access points to Lacamas Lake. Public Health is advising against all recreating in the lake, including swimming, kayaking, paddle boarding, canoeing and water skiing. File photo
Danger signs are being posted at public access points to Lacamas Lake. Public Health is advising against all recreating in the lake, including swimming, kayaking, paddle boarding, canoeing and water skiing. File photo

Results from water samples taken from Lacamas Lake and Round Lake on Monday revealed cyanotoxins above the threshold levels recommended by the Washington Department of Health. Danger signs are being posted at public access points to the lake. Public Health is advising against all recreating in the lake, including swimming, kayaking, paddle boarding, canoeing and water skiing.

Blooms of cyanobacteria, also known as blue-green algae, are currently present at Lacamas Lake near the Lacamas Lake Lodge and along the Heritage Trail shoreline. At Round Lake, blooms are near the dam and in the slough adjacent to the lake.

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, and numbness of the lips, tingling in fingers and toes, and dizziness. The toxins can be fatal to pets that drink the water.

Public Health has been monitoring cyanobacteria blooms at Lacamas Lake and Round Lake since April 9 and will continue to monitor the lake. As long as blooms are present, Public Health will take weekly water samples to test toxin levels. Signs will be updated as conditions change.

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.

Information provided by Clark Co. WA Communications.

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