The Capital Regional District has detected a bloom of blue-green algae at Beaver Lake and as a precaution are closing the lake for swimming until testing results determine the presence of toxins are returned from the lab. Visitors are advised to avoid swimming at Beaver Lake and to keep animals on a leash to prevent them from drinking or swimming in the lake. The algae usually produce a visible blue-green sheen, which appears as surface scum. However, not all blooms are easy to see and toxins can still be present in the water even if you cannot see the algal blooms.
Algal blooms are unpredictable and may occur at any time, although blooms most typically occur over the winter months from November to March. These algae are known toxin producers and these compounds have been detected previously at Elk and Beaver Lake. Ingesting water containing the blue-green algae may cause a range of symptoms, including headaches and abdominal pain in humans, and can lead to lethal liver damage in dogs.
Please visit www.crd.bc.ca/parks and Twitter@crd_bc for updates.