Update Monday October 6, 2014 - Fish Lake Safe for Swimming
It is now safe to use Fish Lake but swimmers should still be cautious, say officials with the Chelan-Douglas Health District. Levels of the liver toxin microcystin, caused by an algae bloom, have gone down to healthy levels, officials said Friday. Late last month, levels had been as high as 785 micrograms per liter, more than 100 times the threshold of 6 micrograms per liter for human safety. The levels are now down to less than the threshold.
Toxic Algae Bloom Reported at Fish Lake
According to a press release from the Chelan Douglas Health District on September 24, 2014 Fish Lake is closed for all use.
In a recent visit to Fish Lake we found numerous signs addressing the closure, but there were still a handful of boats fishing on the lake during the weekend.
A toxic algae bloom was noted in a water sample taken from Fish Lake located in the Lake Wenatchee Recreational Area. Readings were exceptionally high at 786 micrograms/Liter. At levels higher than 6 micrograms/Liter there can be health concerns for people, pets and wildlife.
More testing will be conducted and warning signs will be removed and the lake reopened when the levels are within the recommended guidelines. At this time all recreational lake use should be completely avoided.
Exercise caution when considering consumption of any fish caught in Fish Lake. At lower toxic levels removing the organs reduces the risks from the toxins, but with levels this high it is prudent to dispose of any fish caught recently.
• Blue-green algae can produce nerve toxins and liver toxins.
Call your doctor or veterinarian right away if you or your pets or
livestock have signs of poisoning.
• Signs of neurotoxin poisoning appear within 15–20 minutes after
ingestion. In animals, signs include weakness, staggering, difficulty
breathing, convulsions, and death. In people, signs may include numbness of
the lips, tingling in fingers and toes, and dizziness.
• It may be hours or days before signs of liver poisoning appear. Liver toxins
can cause abdominal pain, diarrhea and vomiting in humans and death in
The Washington State Department of Health has a nice pamphlet available about algae blooms available on the web.