November 22, 2016
Contact: Michael Dawson
Jefferson County Environmental Health
Port Townsend – A toxic bluegreen algae bloom that has kept Anderson Lake closed since early April has begun to dissipate. Samples taken on Monday, November 7 showed that toxins have declined to below safe limits set by the Washington Department of Health. Anderson Lake State Park has removed the closure and posted the lake with Caution signs. The park is closed for the season, so access is on foot only with limited parking near the entrance.
Algae species that can produce toxins are still present, and blooms can develop even in the winter, so the public is urged to follow these guidelines:
- Use the lake at your own risk. Regular monitoring of bluegreen algae blooms, and toxin testing, have ended for the season.
- Avoid contact with areas of scum, or water that is green in color. Keep children and pets out of the water.
- Clean fish well and discard the guts. Some algae toxins are known to accumulate in fish tissue.
Jefferson County Public Health has monitored local lakes for bluegreen algae since 2007. Monitoring occurs from April through October. This year the bloom on Anderson Lake lasted from April to November, the longest since monitoring began. Anderson Lake has been stocked for recreational fishing by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife and a new year-round fishing season has been opened to try to allow recreational opportunity when blooms are less likely.
To check the status of Jefferson County Lakes and learn more about toxic cyanobacteria monitoring, consult the JCPH website at www.jeffersoncountypublichealth.org/index.php?lake-water-quality or call (360) 385-9444. For fishing seasons and regulations see the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife website www.wdfw.wa.gov/fishing. Information on visiting Anderson Lake State Park is available at www.parks.state.wa.us/240/Anderson-Lake.
Always working for a safer and healthier community