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Oregon Lakes Carry Water Warnings 

State advisories warn about risk of harmful algae blooms, including Lake Billy Chinook

Those traveling to lakes through Oregon this summer may want to watch the advisories from the Oregon Health Authority.

On July 19, the state agency set advisories for Upper Klamath Lake at Eagle Ridge County Park in Klamath County, Tenmile Lakes at South Lake in Coos County and Cullaby Lake in Clatsop County due to harmful algae blooms. The advisories warn against recreational activity—swimming water skiing or power boating, for instance—in those lakes. Drinking water from those lakes is especially dangerous for both humans and pets, according to the agency’s notices.

click image Lake Bill Chinook, at Jefferson County's The Cove Palisades State Park. - SMCD22, FLICKR
  • SMcD22, Flickr
  • Lake Bill Chinook, at Jefferson County's The Cove Palisades State Park.
The agency had already issued a precautionary recreational use advisory for Lake Billy Chinook at The Cove Palisades State Park in Jefferson County, noting that blooms can develop throughout the season—although none have been seen yet.

It’s still safe at those lakes to do activities such as fishing, camping, hiking, biking, bird watching and boating at speeds that don't spray water and create an inhalation risk, according to the agency’s notice. If eating fish caught at those lakes, remove the fat, skin and organs before cooking or freezing and rinse fillets with clean water.

Symptoms of exposure to toxins from harmful algae blooms can include stomach cramping, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, numbness, tingling, dizziness and shortness of breath. Symptoms in pets can include lethargy, vomiting, twitching, paralysis and loss of appetite. Pets develop symptoms develop within a couple of hours and need veterinary attention as soon as possible.

The blooms can make water appear foamy, green or brown. Toxins are not absorbed through the skin, although a puffy red rash can develop.

For more information, visit the Oregon Health Authority website or call 971-673-0440 for information or to report illness in people and pets.

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