Lake

Camas, WA — Clark County Public Health has upgraded their advisory at Lacamas Lake to warning, due to elevated levels of cyanotoxins in the water.

“Cyanotoxins can be harmful to people, especially young children, and deadly for small pets that drink the water,” said Clark County Public Health.

The agency recommends the following:

  • No swimming, paddle boarding, kayaking or canoeing
  • No water contact for animals
  • Clean fish well and discard organs
  • Avoid areas of scum when using motorized boats

Today’s announcement comes as Camas city leaders and Clark County officials are working on an inter-local agreement to start improving the water quality of Lacamas Lake and Fallen Leaf Lake.

Camas City Council member Steve Hogan has taken a leadership role with the city to keep the discussions moving. Lacamas Magazine has a more in-depth feature coming, but Hogan provided an update on Tuesday, September 23.

”We are in the process of working between the staffs and the attorneys for both Clark County and the City of Camas to come up with an inter-local agreement that will lay out who’s responsible for what,” Hogan said. “Basically what the City of Camas is interested in now in trying to take control of or lead on is the water quality, that’s what we are trying to focus on. Specifically, algae has been a huge problem, and we want to address that, but the overall water quality is what the city council appears to want to get their hands on and work on moving forward.”

Hogan addresses the timing of this water quality effort. Why now, and not years ago?

”There’s been a shift over the last few years,” Hogan said. “The Camas paper mill originally had control over the dam and the lake and Lacamas Lake for years wasn’t in the city of Camas so we’ve basically taken control of all the land around the lake and the paper mill is backing away from using any of this water in their operations so Clark County was overseeing the water quality when the paper mill was using the water. It was an industrial lake, and now it’s no longer considered an industrial lake. The City of Camas now owns the dam and we own the former ditch that used to lead down to the paper mill, so now it’s time to make a change. We are trying to work with the scientists who were involved with the county, they are on staff at the county and now we want them to work with our staff to begin to move forward at looking at where the science was and where we need to move in the future so that the water quality is available at a high level of cleanliness for people to recreate here.”

The advisory and signs will be updated as conditions change. For the latest info, visit our website: www.clark.wa.gov/public-health/public-beaches

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