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Toxic algae warning issued for Vancouver Lake

Health officials say people should avoid contact with the lake after higher levels of toxins were found in the water.

VANCOUVER, Wash. -- Clark County Public Health has upgraded its advisory at Vancouver Lake after test results revealed elevated toxin levels in the water.

Health officials are now urging people to avoid all contact with the water. Warning signs are being placed at the lake.

Clark County has been monitoring blooms of toxic blue-green algae at Vancouver Lake since June 12, when officials issued the lake’s first warning of the summer.

On July 3, the warning was downgraded to an advisory after test results showed lower levels of the toxins.

Health officials recommend:

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

Blue-green algae, also known as cyanobacteria, produces toxins that can be harmful to people and deadly for any small pets that drink the water.

Public Health says it will continue to monitor the lake. Water samples will be collected again next week. 

Vancouver Lake Park remains open. Health officials say the water in park restrooms and shelters is not affected by the lake water and is safe to drink.

Information on current advisories can be found here.