Clark County Public Health downgrades advisory, reopens Vancouver Lake swim beach

Public Health has had Vancouver Lake under advisory since June 12, when staff first detected blue-green algae blooms at the lake

VANCOUVER — Clark County Public Health has downgraded the advisory at Vancouver Lake and lifted the closure of the swim beach. Blooms of cyanobacteria, also known as blue-green algae, have dissipated at the swim beach and the flushing channel near the swim beach. The bloom at the Burnt Bridge Creek inlet is still present.

Public Health has had Vancouver Lake under advisory since June 12, when staff first detected blue-green algae blooms at the lake. The lake will be downgraded to a caution advisory and remain under advisory as long as blooms are present.

Clark County Public Health downgrades advisory, reopens Vancouver Lake swim beach
As long as algae are present, toxin levels could increase as conditions at Vancouver Lake change. Clark County Public Health officials are advising people to avoid direct contact with water in areas with floating blue-green-colored scum. Photo by Mike Schultz

As long as algae are present, toxin levels could increase as conditions at the lake change. Public Health is advising people to avoid direct contact with water in areas with floating blue-green-colored scum.

Health officials are recommending:

  • No swimming or water skiing in areas of scum.
  • No drinking lake water.
  • No water contact for animals in areas of scum.
  • Avoid areas of scum when boating.
  • Clean fish well and discard organs.

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 will continue to monitor the lake and take weekly water samples to test toxin levels. Water samples will be collected again next week.

Additional information about blue-green algae and current advisories are posted on the Public Health public beaches 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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