Possible Toxic Algae Bloom Observed at Offut Lake

Oct. 20—Thurston County Public Health staff have observed a possible toxic algae bloom at Offut Lake, according to a news release this week.

A water sample has been submitted to a King County lab for analysis. Officials are expecting results by the end of the week but are advising residents near the lake and those visiting to still take precautions.

The precautions include not drinking lake water, avoiding swimming or water skiing in water containing algae, keeping pets and livestock away from the water while the blooms are present, releasing any fish caught in the lake, not consuming any fish caught from the lake and avoiding areas of scum while boating.

Cyanobacteria, more commonly known as blue-green algae, does not always produce toxic blooms, but when it does, toxins target the liver and nervous system. Symptoms of exposure include lethargy, muscle aches, confusion, memory impairment and, if exposure is at high enough concentration levels, death.

For more information about toxic algae blooms, visit https://www.nwtoxicalgae.org/. For information specific to Offut Lake, contact Wendy Jonas, Thurston County public health water quality staff member, at wendy.jonas@co.thurston.wa.us.