Public Health News

Posted on: August 17, 2017

Gibbs Lake Closed Due to Toxin

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For Immediate Release


Contact:

Michael Dawson

Jefferson County Environmental Health

(360) 385-9444 x301


Port Townsend – High levels of the toxin microcystin were detected in a water sample taken from Gibbs Lake on Monday, August 14. The toxin level is 9.5 micrograms per liter, which is above the Washington State recreational criteria of 6 micrograms per liter. Microcystin is produced by bluegreen algae, also known as cyanobacteria, and can result in illnesses in people and animals. As a result, Jefferson County Parks and Recreation has closed the lake for fishing, boating, and swimming. Visitors are also urged to keep pets out of the water. Jefferson County Public Health (JCPH) has posted closure signs at lake access points. The rest of Gibbs Lake County Park remains open for hiking, biking, and horseback riding.

JCPH has monitored local lakes for bluegreen algae seasonally since 2007. Monthly monitoring of Anderson, Gibbs, and Leland lakes began in April of this year. Anderson Lake closed in May due to high levels of Anatoxin-a, another toxin produced by cyanobacteria. No toxins were detected in Lake Leland on August 7. Lake conditions can change rapidly and lake status can change between samples. JCPH urges recreationists to avoid contact with heavy blooms or scums. If you observe a bloom in a Jefferson County lake, please report it by calling (360) 385-9444.


To check the status of Jefferson County Lakes and learn more about toxic cyanobacteria monitoring, consult the JCPH website  or call (360) 385-9444. For fishing seasons and regulations see the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife website. Also see this information on visiting Gibbs Lake County Park.



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Jefferson County Public Health
Always working for a safer and healthier community