A late summer algae bloom in Clear Lake near Yelm produced measurable toxins late last week, and people and pets are advised to stay out of the water. Anglers who use the popular fishing lake are also advised to clean their catch thoroughly to avoid illness from the algae toxin that can build up over time in fish.
The county's Environmental Health Division contacted residents along the lake late last week when tests revealed the microcystin algae toxin exceeded the state standard for recreational water use. Signs will be posted at the Washington State Fish and Wildlife boat launch at the south end of the lake until tests show the algae toxin levels have dropped below the state standard.
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. Following these simple tips can help prevent illness from algae:
WHAT:Toxic Algae Advisory for Clear Lake
- Avoid swimming, wading, wind surfing and water-skiing in waters where algae blooms are present.
- Don't drink untreated surface water.
- Clean any fish you catch thoroughly if you see algae blooms. Before eating, remove the internal organs, which may contain harmful algae toxins.
- Keep pets and livestock out of waters with algae blooms.
- Avoid areas of scum when boating and clean your boat thoroughly.
WHERE:Southeast of Yelm off Bald Hill Rd
- WDFW boat launch is at the south end of the lake off of Bald Hill Rd. SE
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