Blue-green algae alert issued for Elk and Beaver lakes

Blue-green algae alert issued for Elk and Beaver lakes
Nicholas Pescod
File photo

With sizzling temperatures in the forecast, the Capital Regional District is warning swimmers of a blue-green algae bloom at Elk Lake and Beaver Lake.

On Friday, the CRD issued a blue-green algae alert for the lakes, in consultation with Island Health.

Blue-green algae can produce cyanotoxins, which can be lethal to dogs and harmful for humans.

People who ingest water that contains cyanotoxins can experience symptoms like headaches, abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, muscle aches, fever, sore throat, mouth ulcers or blistering of the lips.

Contact with water that has cyanobacteria can also lead to skin rashes or irritated eyes and ears.

Blue-green algae usually produces a blue-green sheen on the surface of the water, but blooms can still be present even if they’re not visible.

“Visitors are advised to avoid contact with blue green algae and to keep animals on a leash to prevent them from drinking or swimming in the lake until the advisory has been lifted,” said the CRD in a notice Friday.

FROM MAY: Blue-green algae alert remains in effect 7 months later at Elk/Beaver Lake

Adam ChanAdam Chan

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