A longstanding toxic blue-green algae warning that was put into effect nearly four months ago for Elk Lake has been lifted today, according to the Capital Regional District (CRD).
The warning was first issued on November 20th, 2018, for both Beaver and Elk Lake.
Over two months later, on January 31st, the CRD declared Beaver Lake clear of the toxic algae, though Elk Lake still tested positive for the organism.
RESOLVED: Elk Lake Tests Positive for Toxic Blue-Green Algae – As of March 7, the advisory has been lifted at Elk Lake. However, blue-green algae blooms are unpredictable and may occur at any time. https://t.co/XaTIqdwe1X #crdalert
— CRD (@crd_bc) March 7, 2019
When present, the algae usually produces a visible blue-green sheen, which appears as surface scum. However, not all blooms are easy to see and toxins can still be present in the water even if you cannot see them.
If ingested, the algae can cause a range of harmful symptoms, including headaches and abdominal pains. For other animals, like dogs, it could also cause lethal liver damage.
During toxic blue-green algae warnings, the CRD advises against entering the water and keeping pets on leashes.