Public Health issues blue-green algae advisory for Lacamas, Round lakes

Public Health collected water samples from each lake; results are expected next week

VANCOUVER – Clark County Public Health has issued advisories for Lacamas Lake and Round Lake in Camas due to a bloom of cyanobacteria, also known as blue-green algae. Public Health is advising people to avoid direct contact with all water in both lakes.

Clark County Public Health collected water samples from Lacamas Lake (shown here) and Round Lake; results are expected next week. Warning signs will be posted at entry points of the lakes today. File photo
Clark County Public Health collected water samples from Lacamas Lake (shown here) and Round Lake; results are expected next week. Warning signs will be posted at entry points of the lakes today. File photo

Public Health collected water samples from each lake; results are expected next week. Warning signs will be posted at entry points of the lakes today. The warning advisory will be re-evaluated once water sample results return. The lakes will remain under advisory as long as blooms are present, but the advisory may be downgraded if the results show there are no toxins in the water.

As long as algae are present, toxin levels could increase as conditions at the lake change. Health officials recommend:

  • No swimming, water skiing, paddle boarding, kayaking or canoeing.
  • No drinking lake water.
  • No water contact for animals.
  • Avoiding areas of scum when using motorized boats.

Public Health will continue to monitor the lake and take weekly water samples to test toxin levels. Water samples will be collected again next week. Signs will be updated as conditions change.

Camas Heritage Park and Lacamas Regional Park have closed restrooms, shelters, and other facilities due to Gov. Inslee’s Proclamation 20-25 Stay Home – Stay Healthy. Water in park restrooms and drinking fountains is not affected by lake water and remains safe to drink. Heritage Trail and walking paths remain open for use as long as social distancing is maintained.

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.

Additional information 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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