PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — A danger advisory is in place for Lacamas Lake due to elevated levels of cyanotoxins in the water, according to officials.
Clark County Public Health issued the advisory once recent water test results showed elevated cyanotoxin levels. The water samples were taken on Monday from the Heritage Park boat launch. Officials are now advising against all recreational lake activities such as swimming, kayaking, paddle boarding, canoeing, water skiing, and fishing.
Although the blue-green algae blooms of cyanobacteria are typically noticeable enough to steer people away from the dangerous water, there are currently no visible blooms on the water’s surface. Because of this, CCPH officials are worried people may not heed their warnings.
“We’re concerned people may think the lake is safe for recreating because they don’t see any of the telltale blue-green scum,” Clark County Public Health Environmental Health Specialist Alyssa Payne said. “The water may look normal, but the toxin levels are high.”
The advisory for Vancouver Lake has been upgraded to a warning due to toxin levels as well.
According to CCPH, toxins from blue-green algae 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 swallowed, symptoms can include abdominal pain, diarrhea, vomiting, numbness of the lips, tingling in fingers and toes, and dizziness.
The toxins can also be fatal to pets that drink the water.