Saanich resident Dorothy Chambers spotter the blue-green algae bloom at Beaver Lake on Dec. 11, 2019. (Photo courtesy Dorothy Chambers)

Visitors warned of toxic algae bloom in Saanich lake

Blue-green algae can be lethal to dogs, cause health issues for humans

Officials are warning of blue-green algae at a Saanich lake.

In consultation with Island Health, the Capital Regional District (CRD) warns of algae bloom at Beaver Lake – located in Elk/Beaver Lake Regional Park. In an advisory released Wednesday, the CRD says Elk Lake is not known to be impacted but notes blooms are “unpredictable and may occur at any time.”

READ ALSO: CRD warns visitors, dog owners of toxic algae in Beaver Lake

The CRD says blue-green algae appears as surface scum on the water and typically produces a visible blue-green sheen. The blooms can produce cyanotoxins, which may still be present even when bloom isn’t visible.

If ingested, the toxin-producing algae can cause a range of symptoms including headaches and abdominal pain in humans, and lethal liver damage in dogs.

Visitors are being advised to avoid swimming in the lake and keep animals on-leash until the advisory is lifted. The CRD issued similar warnings in August and December 2019.

For updates on the status of the algae bloom, visit crd.bc.ca/alerts.


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