Toxic Algae Advisories
Be on the lookout for waters that look suspicious — foamy, scummy, thick like paint, pea-green, blue-green or brownish red. When in doubt, stay out!
Health advisories for toxic algae levels have been issued for the following bodies of water in Oregon:
- There are no current advisories at this time.
- Lost Creek Lake, located 30 miles northeast of Medford on the Rogue River in Jackson County LIFTED 2.25.15
- Tenmile Lakes, located eight miles south of Reedsport off U.S. Highway 101 in Coos County LIFTED 11.25.14
- Devils Lake, located just south of Lincoln City in Lincoln County LIFTED 11.25.14
- Willow Creek Reservoir, located just east of the town of Heppner in Morrow County LIFTED 11.19.14
- Wickiup Reservoir, located 40 miles southwest of Bend off South Century Drive in Deschutes County LIFTED 11.10.14
- Suttle Lake, in the Deschutes National Forest LIFTED 10.22.14
- Cullaby Lake, located just off Highway 101 between Astoria and Seaside in Clatsop County LIFTED 10.3.14
- Walterville Pond, located off Oregon Route 126, five miles east of Springfield LIFTED 10.2.14
- Willamette River, from southern end of Ross Island to the south end of Sauvie Island LIFTED 9.19.14
- Odell Lake, located off Highway 58 in Klamath County, about 31 miles southeast of the Lane County city of Oakridge LIFTED 8.8.14
- Lost Creek Lake, located 30 miles northeast of Medford on the Rogue River in Jackson County LIFTED 6.26.14
Children and pets are particularly susceptible to this toxin
Exposure to toxins can produce symptoms of numbness, tingling and dizziness that can lead to difficulty breathing or heart problems and require immediate medical attention. Symptoms of skin irritation, weakness, diarrhea, nausea, cramps and fainting should also receive medical attention if they persist or worsen. Children and pets are particularly susceptible.
Swallowing or inhaling water droplets should be avoided, as well as skin contact with water by humans or animals. Drinking water from these bodies of water is especially dangerous. Oregon Public Health officials advise campers and other visitors that toxins cannot be removed by boiling, filtering or treating the water with camping-style filters.
Oregon Public Health recommends that people who choose to eat fish from waters where algae blooms are present should remove all fat, skin and organs before cooking since toxins are more likely to collect in these tissues. Additionally, public health officials advise that people should not eat crayfish or freshwater shellfish harvested from these bodies of water while this advisory is in effect.
A hazard for dogs
Dogs have become very sick and even died after swimming in and swallowing water affected by toxic algae. If you find thick, brightly colored foam or scum at a lake, pond or river, don’t let your pet drink or swim in the water. Avoid contact with the water, as toxins can be absorbed through the skin.
If your dog goes into the water:
- Don’t let your pet lick its fur
- Wash your pet with clean water as soon as possible
- If your dog has symptoms such as drooling, weakness, vomiting, staggering and convulsions after being in bloom-affected water, call your veterinarian immediately.
For more information, contact the Harmful Algae Bloom Surveillance program at (971) 673-0400.