October 15, 2021
For Immediate Release
Jefferson County Community Health
Michael Dawson, Water Quality Manager
Port Townsend – Fall blooms of cyanobacteria (also known as blue green algae) have resulted in rising toxin levels at two Jefferson County lakes. A water sample from Lake Leland collected on Monday, October 11th was found to have 14 micrograms of microcystin per liter, above the Washington State guidance level of 8. Microcystin is a liver toxin that can harm people and pets. Warning signs have been posted by Jefferson County Public Health (JCPH) at the boat ramp and fishing pier.
Anderson Lake continues to have a toxic bloom, although the toxins have changed since the beginning of the year. The microcystin level at Anderson Lake reached 2,776 micrograms on October 4th. The lake has been posted with Danger – Lake Closed signs since May, when high levels of the potent nerve toxin anatoxin-a were measured.
Blooms of cyanobacteria were observed in Gibbs Lake and Crocker Lake in summer 2021, but toxin levels declined and both lakes have been free of visible blooms in recent weeks. Informational signs about toxic algae are posted at both lakes.
Lake conditions can change rapidly and lake status can change between samples. JCPH urges recreationists to avoid contact with heavy blooms or scums. If you observe a bloom in a Jefferson County lake, please report it by calling (360) 385-9444. To check the status of Jefferson County lakes and learn more about toxic cyanobacteria monitoring, visit the JCPH website at www.jeffersoncountypublichealth.org/723/Lake-Status. For fishing seasons and regulations see the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife website www.wdfw.wa.gov/fishing. Information on visiting Jefferson County Parks is available at www.countyrec.com. Anderson Lake State Park information is at parks.state.wa.us/240/Anderson-Lake. photo credit: Lake Leland by JCPH Staff Member
Jefferson County Public Health
Always Working for a Safer and Healthier Community