Elk Lake in Saanich has tested positive for blue-green algae.
The Capital Regional District (CRD) said water samples taken from Eagle Beach at Elk Lake, within Elk/Beaver Lake Regional Park, tested positive for cyanobacteria, which can produce cyanotoxins. The compounds have been detected previously at the park and ingesting the water containing the cyanotoxins may cause a range of symptoms, including headaches and abdominal pain in human. It can also cause lethal liver damage in dogs.
Visitors are advised to avoid swimming in Elk Lake and keep animals on a leash to prevent them from drinking or swimming in the lake. The algae usually produce a visible blue-green sheen, which appears as surface scum. The CRD said not all blooms are easy to see and toxins can still be present in the water even if they can’t be seen. Blooms are unpredictable and can occur at any time.
There are currently no signs of toxic blue-green algae at Beaver Lake.