Lake County, CA (June 12, 2020) – Activities such as swimming and boating can greatly enhance well-being, and must be enjoyed safely in large natural bodies of water. Water monitoring data is one factor that helps all of us make healthy water-based recreation choices.
Earlier this week, we reported preliminary testing indicated cyanotoxin concerns near Austin Park.
Lab testing has now confirmed two areas of Clear Lake, Austin Park and Jago Bay, have demonstrated significantly elevated levels, both above the “Danger” threshold level, and signs are being posted in the affected areas:
• Austin Park (25.3 µg/L); and
• Jago Bay (53.2 µg/L)
Public Health urges boaters and recreational users to avoid direct contact with or use of waters containing cyanobacteria. Wading, swimming and other contact with the water, scum, foam or algae at these locations may present serious health risks.
At the level of toxicity currently evident in Jago Bay and Austin Park, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend people and animals should stay out of the water until further notice. Please also avoid contact with the scum in the water or near the shore. If you or a family member becomes ill after exposure to potentially-affected water, seek medical attention. Adverse health effects can include upset stomach, vomiting and diarrhea. In severe cases, liver and kidney damage may result.
Pet owners should not allow their animals to drink the water or go near the scum, and are encouraged to contact a veterinarian if your animal shows signs of illness.
Fish and shellfish that have been in contact with “Danger” level algal blooms are not safe to eat, and affected water should not be used for drinking or cooking.
Large, biologically rich natural bodies of water, like Clear Lake, are dynamic in water quality. Understanding what signs to look for when recreating can help ensure residents and visitors safely enjoy our County’s defining feature, and resources are available at the following websites:
For current cyanotoxin lab results, please visit the Big Valley Band of Pomo Indians cyanotoxin monitoring website and Clear Lake Water Quality Facebook page:
Gary Pace, MD, MPH
Image taken near Austin Park on the date of sampling, June 8, 2020.