Public beaches

Vancouver Lake swim beach

Between Memorial Day and Labor Day, Public Health routinely monitors local designated swim beaches for bacterial contaminants to determine if the water quality is safe for swimming and recreation. If there is a problem with E.Coli bacteria in the water or presence of algae blooms, advisory signs will be posted at the lake.

Whether there is an advisory in effect or not, always take precautions such as not swallowing water, exposing cuts or sores to water or entering water that appears scummy. Please read below for a description of our monitoring process.

Current beach information

Below you will find current advisories for lakes that have designated swim beaches monitored by Clark County Public Health. Please contact us if you see any algae blooms or fecal contamination that may warrant a public health response.

Advisories are updated as conditions change. Below are the most current advisories as of today. Results can be viewed at the Washington State Toxic Algae website.

For information about our sampling and advisory decisions, see below.

Designated swim beaches Advisories Comments
Battle Ground Lake  No current advisories.
  • Last sampled for E.coli 9/8/2020.
Klineline Pond No current advisories.
  • Last sampled for E.coli 9/8/2020.
Vancouver Lake
  • Caution level advisory for algae bloom.
  • Last sample results from 9/22/2020. 
  • Advisory updated as conditions change. 
  • Last sampled for E.coli 9/8/2020.
Other lakes and rivers* Advisories Comments
Lacamas Lake
  • Warning level advisory for algae bloom.
  • Last sample results from 9/21/2020. 
  • Advisory updated as conditions change. 
Round Lake
  • Caution level advisory for algae bloom.
  • Last sample results from 9/21/2020. 
  • Advisory updated as conditions change. 
Fallen Leaf Lake No current advisories.

*Be advised that only designated swim beaches are routinely monitored by Clark County Public Health. Designated swim beaches are beaches that have swimming areas separated from other recreational water activities such as boating or fishing. Please continue to report public health concerns that you may observe.

Bacteria water sampling

Harmful bacteria can be present in lakes and occasionally in rivers and streams. Ingesting water contaminated with fecal bacteria can cause fever, diarrhea and vomiting. If you experience these symptoms after water contact, please contact your physician. To reduce your risk of exposure, Public Health recommends showering and hand washing with soap and warm water after contact with water at swim beaches.

Between Memorial and Labor Day, Clark County Public Health collects several water samples from Battle Ground Lake, Klineline Pond and Vancouver Lake to test for E.coli. This is based on the federal Environmental Protection Agency's recommendations for fresh water monitoring. If a single sample has a maximum level above 235 colony forming units (cfu), then Public Health takes action to warn swimmers. Water samples are taken on Mondays with results posted by the following Friday.

Bacteria advisories you may see

Beach warning - Bacteria

 

Warning advisories are posted when one of the samples come back with elevated bacteria above the EPA’s Beach Action Value.

  • Swimming and wading not advised especially for young children.
  • When fishing, clean fish well and wash hands and equipment after.
  • If coming into contact with water;
    • Rinse off before and after.
    • Know where the bathrooms and changing stations are located.

Beach closure - Bacteria

 

Danger advisories are posted when more than one sample comes back with elevated bacteria above the EPA’s Beach Action Value.

  • Public Health is closing the lake to swimming and wading.
  • People who fish at the lake should take precautions to avoid water contact

Toxic algae monitoring

Algae blooms can pose significant health risks to humans and animals in lakes or other water bodies without currents. Algae blooms are most common in summer but can also occur at any time of year. Toxins produced by blue-green algae may be present during a visible bloom or may persist after a bloom has disappeared. Blooms can also be produced by other algae species that are not harmful.

In the event of a bloom, Public Health staff will take samples of the lake water to determine if toxins are present. Monitoring will continue as needed and signs will be posted at the swim beach to discourage activity in the water.

Algae image

Algae advisories you may see

Caution - algae

Caution advisories are posted when a harmful algal bloom is present and toxicity has not been confirmed or is below the Washington State Department of Health recreational guidance.

  • Avoid swimming or water skiing in areas of scum.
  • Do not drink lake water.
  • Animals should avoid water contact in areas of scum.
  • Avoid areas of scum when boating.
  • When fishing, clean fish well and discard organs.

Warning -toxic algae present

Warning advisories are posted when a harmful algal bloom is present and toxicity is above recreational guidance AND no animal/human illness is reported, the bloom is not covering the entire lake and there is not a history of toxicity on that lake.

  • Swimming or water skiing not advised anywhere on lake.
  • Avoid areas of scum when using motorized boats, paddle boarding, kayaking or canoeing.
  • Do not drink lake water.
  • Animals should avoid all water contact.
  • When fishing, clean fish well and discard organs.

Algae - danger

Danger advisories are posted when a harmful algal bloom is present and toxicity is above recreational guidance AND an animal/human illness or death is reported or the bloom covers the entire lake or is present at multiple public access points.

  • Public Health advises against all recreating in the lake, including swimming, kayaking, paddle boarding, canoeing and water skiing.

Contact information

For more information or for access to the sampling results data please contact us at 564.397.8428 or by email.

Additional resources