The summer solstice doesn’t come until June 21, but Vancouver Lake has already experienced its first blue-green algae advisory.
Vancouver Lake Regional Park remains open and the water in park restrooms and shelters is not affected and remains safe to drink.
Clark County Public Health posted caution signs, warning of the possible blooms of cyanobacteria, according to a Public Health news release. Public Health staff identified suspected blue-green algae blooms at the Lake’s swim beach, the Burnt Bridge Creek inlet and the flushing channel by the swim beach, according to the release.
Public Health is now awaiting test results from the locations to determine whether there are toxins in the water, and those results should be available by early next week. For the time being, Public Health is advising people to avoid direct contact with the areas of lake water that have floating blue-green-colored scum. The reason for that is because blue-green algae produce toxins that can be harmful to people and deadly for small pets that drink the water.
Public Health recommends: no swimming or water skiing in areas of scum; no drinking lake water; no water contact for animals in areas of scum; avoid areas of scum when boating; clean fish well and discard organs. Public Health will continue to monitor Vancouver Lake, Battle Ground Lake and Klineline Pond. Last year, each body of water encountered a warning or closure. Vancouver Lake wasn’t placed under caution or given a warning until late July.