The warm, sunny weather the past several weeks has increased the amount of toxic algae in a number of Pierce County lakes. Toxic algae bloom advisories have been issued for: Bay Lake, Ohop Lake, Silver Lake, Spanaway Lake, Steilacoom Lake, and Waughop Lake. Of the above listed lakes, high levels of toxins have been measured in Ohop Lake, Silver Lake, and Spanaway Lake. Toxic algal blooms can be harmful to people and pets and should be avoided.
As a guideline for all Pierce County lakes, areas that have heavy concentrations of algae should be avoided. These areas are usually along portions of the shore and resemble green paint or pea soup. For health reasons, it is best to stay away from these general areas; pets should also be kept from the algae.
Swallowing the algae or prolonged contact with the algae may result in illness, such as muscle weakness, vomiting, diarrhea, and/or nausea. If you swallow a large amount of water containing the algae, please seek immediate medical attention. If a pet has recently (within several hours) ingested lake water with algae and is showing signs such as vomiting, lethargy, disorientation, or seizures it should be taken to a veterinarian immediately. For more information on toxic algae go to the Health Department‚Äôs website at www.tpchd.org and enter ‚Äútoxic algae‚Äù in the search box.
The duration of the blooms is dependent upon weather conditions and biological factors. It is expected that the blooms are likely to pose a health concern for at least the next few weeks.
- General Use: Children and pets should be closely supervised when near the shoreline and kept away from areas that look like green paint or pea soup.
- Swimming/Water Skiing/Windsurfing: Swim or water ski only in areas that do not look like green paint or pea soup.
- Boating and Fishing: Boat and fish in areas that do not look like green paint or pea soup.