[8/29/17] Rufus Woods Algae

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Rufus Woods Lake near Bridgeport remains open to the public, although an algae bloom last week prompted the Army Corps of Engineers to post warnings about in-water activities.

A press release by the Corps said the blue-green algae bloom has produced a naturally occurring nerve toxin that should be avoided by humans and animals. The warnings caution the public to limit swimming, water skiing and other in-lake activities. The toxin can be lethal to animals if ingested at high enough concentrations.

Samples of floating algae blooms were taken recently from the lake and forwarded to King County environmental laboratories for testing and analysis. Test results indicated that concentrations of anatoxin-a in the algae were as high as 923 micrograms per liter. State health guidelines recommend only 1 microgram per liter in water used for recreation.

While it’s safe to eat properly cleaned and gutted fish, lake water should not be consumed and steps should be taken to keep livestock and pets away from the lake. Boaters are also advised to avoid areas where algae blooms are present.

The Corps says testing will continue. Meanwhile, access to Rufus Woods Lake remains open to the public.