For Immediate Release
Contact: Michael Dawson
Water Quality Manager
Jefferson County Public Health
Anderson Lake Closed Due to Toxin
Port Townsend – High levels of the potent nerve toxin anatoxin-a were detected in a water sample taken from Anderson Lake on Tuesday, May 29th. The toxin level is 112 micrograms per liter, which is above the Washington State recreational criteria of 1 microgram per liter. The bloom of bluegreen algae (also known as cyanobacteria) in the lake contains several toxin-producing species of algae, including Dolichospermum (formerly Anabaena). Anatoxin-a can result in illness and death in people and animals. Washington State Parks has closed the lake for recreation including fishing, boating, and swimming. Visitors are also urged to keep pets out of the water. The rest of Anderson Lake State Park remains open for hiking, biking and horseback riding. Blooms have also appeared this year at Lake Leland and Gibbs Lake, but toxins have not been detected at either of those lakes so far in 2018.
Jefferson County Public Health (JCPH) has monitored local lakes for cyanobacteria since 2007. Anderson Lake has had closures every year since monitoring began. In 2017, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) made changes to the fishing season at Anderson Lake to allow recreational fishing during the colder months when blooms are less likely to occur. State Parks also opened the Anderson Lake gate on a Friday through Sunday schedule from November 2017 to April 2018. Although late season blooms kept the lake closed through fall 2017, early 2018 saw five consecutive months of open access.
To check the status of Jefferson County Lakes and learn more about toxic cyanobacteria monitoring, consult the JCPH website at www.jeffersoncountypublichealth.org/723/Lake-Status or call (360) 385-9444. For fishing seasons and regulations see the WDFW website www.wdfw.wa.gov/fishing. Information on visiting Anderson Lake State Park is available at www.parks.state.wa.us/240/Anderson-Lake.
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