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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Friday, May 6, 2016
Jane Mountjoy-Venning, Thurston County Environmental Health Division, (360) 867-2643 or venninj@co.thurston.wa.us
Art Starry, Thurston County Environmental Health Division at (360) 867-2587 or StarryA@co.thurston.wa.us

Pattison Lake Still Under Toxic Algae Advisory
Swimmers, pet owners and anglers advised to avoid contact

Olympia - A toxic blue-green algae advisory is still in effect for Pattison Lake in Thurston County. Water samples taken from the lake on May 3rd found the algae toxin Anatoxin-a at 6.30 micrograms per liter of water (ug/L), above the state standard of 1.0 micrograms per liter for recreational water use.

Anatoxin-a is a neurotoxin, that is, it affects the nervous system. Contact your doctor or veterinarian right away if you or your pets show any signs or symptoms of poisoning. Symptoms of neurotoxin poisoning can appear within 15-20 minutes after ingesting toxic algae.
  • In animals, signs include weakness, staggering, difficulty breathing, convulsions, and death.
  • In people, signs may include muscle cramps, twitching, numbness of the lips, tingling in fingers and toes, and dizziness.
Warning signs are posted at public access points, public boat launches, and any other community access points on the lake. The lake will be monitored weekly until algae levels are at or below the state standard and the advisories can be lifted.

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 you catch thoroughly if you see algae blooms. Before eating, remove the internal organs, which may contain harmful algae toxins.
  • Avoid areas of scum when boating and clean your boat thoroughly.
WHAT: Toxic Algae Advisory Still in Effect for Pattison Lake
No swimming, no pets, no fishing advised

WHEN: Effective Immediately

WHERE: The health advisory is still in effect for Pattison Lake
Advisories are posted at public and community access points and public boat launch on the lake.

For more information about toxic algae blooms and other water quality information, visit the Thurston County Environmental Health web pages at: www.co.thurston.wa.us/health/ehadm/swimming/swimming_index.html.

Call the Toxic Algae Bloom Line at: 360-867-2645



County Commissioners:

Carolina Mejia
District 1

Gary Edwards
District 2

Tye Menser
District 3