Blue Lake under algae advisory

The north shoreline of Blue Lake in Fairview, Ore. January 2009. (Wikimedia Commons)
The north shoreline of Blue Lake in Fairview, Ore. January 2009. (Wikimedia Commons)

(KOIN) – The presence of high levels of blue-green algae has prompted a health advisory for Blue Lake in Fairview, Ore.

The Oregon Health Authority (OHA) issued the advisory Monday after scum was observed on the lake, which is located in east Multnomah County. Officials advise the public to avoid touching or drinking the water. Tests are underway to determine whether the algae is producing cyanotoxins that are harmful to people and pets.

Residents who get their water supply directly from Blue Lake are advised to use an alternative water source until the advisory is lifted.

It is safe to eat fish caught from the lake. However, the fat, skin and organs should be removed before cooking because any toxins are more likely to exist in those tissues, the OHA reports. No freshwater clams or mussels should be eaten.

Boating on the lake is OK at reduced speeds that do not create water spray.

This is the second advisory issued this summer. In early August another blue-green algae bloom was discovered. That advisory was lifted on August 9.

Symptoms of toxin exposure include numbness, tingling, dizziness, difficulty breathing, skin irritation, weakness, diarrhea, nausea, cramps and fainting. Children and animals are most at risk at contracting the toxin.

For more information call Metro Parks at 503-665-4995.

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