The Capital Regional District (CRD) has issued an advisory to the public warning of a blue-green algae bloom at Beaver Lake, located in Saanich.
The advisory, which is in consultation with Island Health, suggests that the blue-green algae bloom is currently only for Beaver Lake and does not extend to Elk Lake, which is also located in Elk/Beaver Lake Regional Park.
Despite the advisory not applying to Elk Lake, the CRD is advising the public that these types of blooms are unpredictable and may occur at any time.
Blue-green algae blooms can produce cyanotoxins and visitors are being advised to avoid swimming in Beaver Lake.
The advisory from the CRD also recommends that owners keep their animals on a leash to prevent them from drinking or swimming in the lake until the advisory has been lifted.
This type of bloom typically produces a visible blue-green sheen that appears like surface scum on the water.
Health officials add that toxins can be present even if the algae isn’t visible.
A statement in the advisory suggests that “ingesting water containing these cyanotoxins may cause a range of symptoms, including headaches and abdominal pain in humans, and can lead to lethal liver damage in dogs.”
This marks the second time this summer that an algae-bloom advisory has been issued for Beaver Lake.
Updates on the status of this algae bloom can be found online at the Capital Regional District’s alerts page.