Swimmers, pet owners and anglers are being advised to avoid contact with Clear Lake near Yelm, due to a toxic blue-green algae bloom, according to a news release from Thurston County.
Water samples from the lake showed the presence of Microcycstin that was above the state standard for recreational water use. The algae can produce toxins that can harm the nervous system, liver, skin, stomach and intestines, officials say.
“The health risk at Clear Lake right now is relatively low for most people, but there is a higher risk of illness for children and pets,” said Art Starry, director of the county’s Environmental Health Division. “We want people to have this information so they can make informed decisions. Our advice to folks is to stay out of any waters with visible algae to avoid getting sick, and that catch-and-release is the best bet for avoiding any algae toxins that can build up in a fish’s system.”
The advisory will stay in effect until the algae bloom has dissipated. For more information, go to www.co.thurston.wa.us.