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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Friday, October 16, 2015
Jane Mountjoy-Venning, Environmental Health, 360-867-2643
Art Starry, Thurston County Environmental Health Division at 360-867-2587

Swimmers, pet owners and anglers advised to avoid contact

An algae bloom in Deep Lake has recently produced enough toxin to prompt an advisory for the lake. Swimming in water with algae toxins or drinking it can lead to serious illness, so people and pets are advised to stay out of the water at Deep Lake. Anglers are reminded that the safest bet during a toxic algae bloom is to catch and release.

Samples collected on October 13 have Microcystin levels at 15.9 ug/L, the level of concern is 6 ug/L. Signs will be posted at public access points around the lake until tests show the algae toxin levels have dropped below the state standard.

"We're issuing the advisory for Deep Lake so folks can make informed decisions about using the lake for different activities said Art Starry, Director of the county's Environmental Health Division. "Our advice is for people and pets to stay out of the water until the algae bloom goes away, and that catch-and-release is the best bet for avoiding any algae toxins that can build up in a fish's system."

While not all algae blooms are toxic, some algae can produce toxins that can harm the nervous system, the liver, the skin, and the stomach and intestines. Experts from the county's Environmental Health Division recommend a few simple tips to help prevent illness from algae:

  • Avoid swimming, wading, wind surfing and water-skiing in waters where algae blooms are present.
  • Don't drink untreated surface water.
  • Keep pets and livestock out of waters with algae blooms.
  • When fishing, catch-and-release is the safest practice. If you do eat your catch, clean any fish thoroughly. Before eating, remove the internal organs, which may contain harmful algae toxins.
  • Avoid areas of scum when boating and clean your boat thoroughly.

WHAT: Algae Advisory for Deep Lake-No swimming, no pets, no fishing advised

WHEN: Effective Immediately

WHERE: Deep Lake is located south of Tumwater and east of Interstate-5 with Millersylvania State Park on its shore.

For more information on protecting yourself, your family and your pets from toxic algae, see www.doh.wa.gov/CommunityandEnvironment/Contaminants/BlueGreenAlgae



County Commissioners:

Carolina Mejia
District 1

Gary Edwards
District 2

Tye Menser
District 3