Public Health issues danger advisory at Lacamas Lake due to elevated toxin levels

Published Date

Clark County Public Health has issued a danger advisory for Lacamas Lake after test results revealed elevated levels of cyanotoxins in the water due to a harmful algal bloom. Cyanotoxins can be harmful to people, especially young children, and deadly for pets.

Results from water samples taken from Lacamas Lake on Tuesday revealed cyanotoxins above the threshold levels recommended by the Washington Department of Health. The harmful algal bloom is currently present at multiple public access points at Lacamas Lake.

The danger advisories previously issued for Vancouver Lake and Round Lake also remain in place.

Public Health is advising against all recreating in Lacamas, Round and Vancouver lakes, including swimming, kayaking, paddle boarding, canoeing, using motorized boats, water skiing and fishing. Pets should not have any contact with the water.

Harmful algal blooms can pose a significant health risk if the cyanobacteria or toxins are ingested, inhaled or contact 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 lakes and take weekly water samples while blooms are present to test toxin levels. Signs will be updated as conditions change.

Additional information about algal blooms and current advisories are available on the Public Health public beach website.