(Prior Lake/Photo by Marco Antonio Gomez-Jofre - Google)

The Capital Regional District (CRD) is advising visitors that a blue-green algae bloom has occurred at Prior Lake in Thetis Lake Regional Park.

Visitors are advised to avoid swimming in Prior Lake and to keep animals from drinking or swimming in the lake until the advisory has been lifted.

(Google Maps/Prior Lake)

Algae blooms typically produce a visible blue-green sheen, which appears as surface scum on the water. Blooms can sometimes be difficult to spot and toxins can still be present in the water even if you cannot see a bloom. Blooms are unpredictable and may occur at any time.

Blue-green algae is concerning because it produces cyanotoxins.

Exposures to cyanotoxins can cause conjunctivitis, rhinitis, earache, sore throat, and swollen lips. Respiratory effects can include atypical pneumonia and hay fever-like syndrome. Exposure can also cause electrolyte imbalances, headache, malaise, and muscle weakness/ pain in joints and limbs.

It can also cause liver failure in animals.

The CRD said that at this time, blue-green algae has not been detected at Upper or Lower Thetis Lake.

To stay up to date on the status of blue-green algae blooms at Thetis Lake Regional Park or any regional parks follow the CRD on Twitter or visit their website here.

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