Authorities advise against swimming at Beaver Lake as blue-green algae blooms have been spotted.
The Capital Regional District (CRD) and Island Health warn lake-goers to stay out of the water at the far end of Beaver Lake in Elk/Beaver Lake Regional Park as blue-green algae can produce cyanotoxins which aren’t safe for humans or pets.
If the toxins are ingested, people experience a variety of symptoms including headaches and abdominal pain. However, if dogs ingest the water, they can die from liver damage.
Nicki Fellinger, communications supervisor for CRD Environmental Protection, noted that parks staff were at the lake posting notices regarding the bloom on Thursday morning.
Typically, blue-green algae blooms can be spotted as they create a blue-green layer of surface scum on the water, but other times, the toxins aren’t visible. The blooms are more common in shallow, slow-moving water, but aren’t predictable and can occur in any season.
For more information about cyanobacteria, visit the HealthLinkBC website.