The Capital Regional District and Island Health are warning visitors to avoid swimming at Beaver Lake after it tested positive for blue-green algae.
Water samples taken from Beaver Beach at Elk/Beaver Lake Regional Park have tested positive for a type of blue-green algae that produces cyanotoxins, according to a release put out by the CRD.
Visitors are being told to avoid swimming at Beaver Lake and to prevent animals from drinking or swimming in the lake by keeping them on a leash.
A visible blue-green sheen that appears as surface scum is usually produced by the algae but not all blooms are easy to see and toxins might still be present in the water even if blooms aren’t visible. The CRD says blooms are unpredictable and can occur at any time.
Blue-green algae are known toxin producers and the compounds from the algae have been detected at the park before. Ingesting water with cyanotoxins can cause many different symptoms like headaches and abdominal pain in humans. For dogs, it can lead to lethal liver damage.
For updates on the status of the algae bloom, visit www.crd.bc.ca/alerts and follow the CRD on Twitter @crd_bc.