News

Lone Lake closed because of toxic algal bloom

The Island County Health Department has closed Lone Lake to swimming because of a toxic blue-green algal bloom.

Dr. Roger Case, health officer for Island County, made the announcement Monday morning.

Case said the Island County Public Health Department is changing the posting at Lone Lake from "Caution" to "Warning," and the posting means the lake is unsafe for people and pets.

County officials are warning people not to swim or water ski at Lone Lake, and to keep pets and livestock away from the water. People should also not drink water from the lake.

Officials said the current bloom of cyanobacteria (Anabaena Flos-Aquae) is known to produce two of the same toxins as the “Paralytic Shellfish Poison” produced by red tide organisms in marine habitats.

Cyanobacteria are microscopic, but create colonies that can turn the water a blue-green color and may form surface scum. Boaters should avoid areas that have surface scum while on the water.

Recent testing has shown that toxin levels are well above what is considered safe for recreational use and poses a danger from accidental ingestion. Officials said even small amounts can be lethal to animals within minutes to a few hours.

The county will continue to monitor Lone Lake in the coming weeks to determine when the lake can be reopened for recreational use.

We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.
blog comments powered by Disqus

Read the Dec 20
Green Edition

Browse the print edition page by page, including stories and ads.

Browse the archives.

Friends to Follow

View All Updates