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

Published Date

Clark County Public Health has issued a danger advisory for Vancouver Lake after test results revealed elevated levels of cyanotoxins in the water. Harmful algal blooms are currently present at multiple locations across the lake, including the swim beach.

Results from water samples taken from Vancouver Lake on Monday revealed cyanotoxins above the threshold levels recommended by the Washington Department of Health. Danger signs are being posted at the public access points to the lake.

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

The warning advisories at Lacamas and Round lakes in Camas remain in place. At those lakes, Public Health advises against swimming, water skiing and any water contact for animals. People should avoid areas of scum when using motorized boats, paddle boarding, kayaking or canoeing in Lacamas and Round lakes.

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 local lakes with algal blooms and take weekly water samples while blooms are present to test toxin levels. Signs will be updated as conditions change.

Vancouver Lake Regional Park remains open. Water in park restrooms and shelters is not affected by lake water and remains safe to drink.

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