Clark County Public Health closed Lacamas and Round lakes in Camas this week, after test results revealed elevated levels of cyanotoxins, also known as blue-green algae, in the water.
Results from water samples revealed cyanotoxins above the threshold levels recommended by the Washington Department of Health. The county has posted danger signs at public access points to the lake. Public Health advises against all recreating in the lakes, including swimming, kayaking, paddle boarding, canoeing and water skiing.
Blooms of cyanobacteria are currently present at Lacamas Lake near the Lacamas Lake Lodge and along the Heritage Trail shoreline. At Round Lake, testers found blooms near the dam and in the slough adjacent to the lake.
Blue-green algae can pose a significant health risk if the cyanobacteria or toxins are ingested, inhaled or come into contact with 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 has been monitoring cyanobacteria blooms at Lacamas Lake and Round Lake since April 9 and will continue to monitor the lake. As long as blooms are present, Public Health will take weekly water samples to test toxin levels. Signs will be updated as conditions change.
For more information or to report algae blooms, visit the Public Health website at clark.wa.gov/public-health.