Public Health issues warning for Lacamas Lake due to elevated toxin levels

Clark County Public Health issues warning advisory for Lacamas Lake due to elevated levels of cyanotoxins from harmful algae, recommending no swimming, water contact for animals, avoidance of scum areas, no drinking of lake water, and thorough cleaning of fish, while continuing to monitor the lake and other affected bodies of water.
Clark County Public Health issues warning advisory for Lacamas Lake due to elevated levels of cyanotoxins from harmful algae, recommending no swimming, water contact for animals, avoidance of scum areas, no drinking of lake water, and thorough cleaning of fish, while continuing to monitor the lake and other affected bodies of water. File photo.

Results from water samples taken on Wednesday revealed cyanotoxins above the threshold level recommended by the Washington Department of Health

VANCOUVER – Clark County Public Health has issued a warning advisory for Lacamas Lake due to elevated levels of cyanotoxins from harmful algae. 

Results from water samples taken from Lacamas Lake on Wednesday, July 5 revealed cyanotoxins above the threshold level recommended by the Washington Department of Health. Warning signs are being placed at public access points at the lake. 

Cyanotoxins can be harmful to people, especially young children, and deadly for small pets that drink the water. When a warning advisory is in place, health officials recommend:

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

Public Health will continue to monitor Lacamas Lake and, while blooms are present, take weekly water samples to test toxin levels. Signs will be updated as conditions change.

Algal blooms are also present at Vancouver Lake and Round Lake in Camas, but results from water samples collected this week show toxin levels are below state threshold levels. Public Health will continue to monitor Vancouver and Round lakes and take weekly water samples to test toxin levels as long as the blooms are present.

Harmful algal blooms can pose a significant health risk if the cyanobacteria or toxins are ingested, inhaled or contact skin. Inhaled bacteria or toxins could cause wheezing, coughing, chest tightness and shortness of breath. Skin contact could lead to rash, itching, blisters and eye irritation.

If water with cyanotoxins is accidentally swallowed, symptoms could include abdominal pain, diarrhea, vomiting, numbness of the lips, tingling in fingers and toes, and dizziness.

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

Information provided by Clark Co. WA Communications.


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