Friday, July 31, 2015

Clark County Public Health issues algae advisory for Vancouver Lake

Public Health issues algae advisory for Vancouver Lake
Vancouver Lake Regional Park remains open to the public

Vancouver, WA – Clark County Public Health is advising the public to avoid direct contact with Vancouver Lake water due to the presence of cyanobacteria (blue-green algae). Because blue-green algae produce toxins that can be harmful to people and deadly for small pets that drink the water, public health officials are recommending:

  • No swimming or wading
  • No wind surfing or sail boarding
  • No water contact for animals
  • Precautions against contact with water while boating or fishing

“It’s especially important to keep children out of the lake because they are more likely than adults to swallow water,” said Dr. Alan Melnick, Clark County Health Officer.

This advisory will not affect the 2015 PDBA Dragon Boat Regional Championships, which will take place on Vancouver Lake Aug. 1-2. Rowers have minimal direct contact with the water. Spectators can safely watch the event from the lake’s shores.

Caution signs have been posted at the lake and will remain as long as cyanobacteria are present. Public Health will continue to monitor the lake throughout the summer. Signage will be updated as conditions change. For more information and current updates, visit

Water in park restrooms and shelters is not affected by lake water and remains safe to drink. Eating fish from the lake is considered safe if organs such as liver and kidney, where toxins can build up, are carefully removed and people wash hands after cleaning fish.

Warm, sunny weather and the presence of nutrients can cause algae growth. Nutrients that enter the water and promote algal blooms include the phosphorus and nitrogen found in fertilizers and agricultural, human and animal waste.

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