Toxic algae warning issued at Lacamas, Round lakes in Camas

Clark County Public Health has issued warning advisories for Lacamas Lake and Round Lake due to elevated levels of cyanotoxins from blue-green algae.

Public Health collected water samples from both Camas lakes on Monday, Aug. 2. Results revealed cyanotoxins above the threshold levels recommended by the Washington Department of Health. Warning signs have been placed at public access points at both lakes.

Cyanotoxins can be harmful to people, especially young children, and deadly for small pets that drink the water. Health officials recommend:

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

Public Health will continue to monitor Lacamas and Round lakes and, while blooms are present, take weekly water samples to test toxin levels. Signs will be updated as conditions change.

Public Health is also monitoring blue-green algae blooms at Vancouver Lake. Water samples collected from Vancouver Lake indicate toxin levels are currently below threshold levels set by the state. People and pets should avoid areas of scum in Vancouver Lake.

Blue-green algae 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.

If water with cyanotoxins is accidentally swallowed, symptoms could include abdominal pain, diarrhea, vomiting, numbness of the lips, tingling in fingers and toes, and dizziness. 

Additional information about blue-green algae and current advisories are posted on the Public Health public beach website. To report algae blooms in other bodies of water, visit the Public Health website.