VANCOUVER, Wash (KOIN) — A warning advisory has been issued at Vancouver Lake due to elevated levels of cyanotoxins from harmful algae, Clark County officials announced Thursday.

The advisory at Lacamas Lake, which was issued on July 7, also remains in place.

“Public Health has been monitoring harmful algal blooms at Vancouver Lake since early July. Results from water samples taken from Vancouver Lake on Monday revealed cyanotoxins above the threshold levels recommended by the Washington Department of Health. Warning signs are being placed at public access points at the lake,” officials said. “Cyanotoxins can be harmful to people, especially young children, and deadly for small pets that drink the water.”

While the 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, etc.
  • No drinking lake water
  • Cleaning fish well and discarding organs

Officials say they will continue to monitor Vancouver and Lacamas lakes and take weekly water samples to test toxin levels while 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,” officials said. “Water with cyanotoxins is accidentally swallowed, symptoms could include abdominal pain, diarrhea, vomiting, numbness of the lips, tingling in fingers and toes, and dizziness.”