Green Lake still open, despite reports of toxic algae

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SEATTLE — Green Lake remained open to most activities Thursday even though toxic algae was found along the shores.

The city of Seattle said King County Natural Resources crews had been testing the lake for weeks. The tests found that toxins were evident in scummy algae in particular areas along the lakeshore.

City workers said fishing, boating and other activities are still allowed at Green Lake, and that swimmers are still permitted within 50 feet of the shore.

Green Lake

The city posted signs reminding lake visitors to avoid areas where the algae scum could be seen. Toxic algae is dangerous to humans and pets and dog owners were especially advised to stay away. The city recommended that any pet that comes into contact with the scummy water should be immediately rinsed off and all algae thoroughly removed.

Environmental experts said algae blooms happen when the weather is warm and dry. If conditions are right, the blooms can last into November.

Green Lake has been closed in the past because of toxic algae blooms. The most recent closure was fall 2012.

For more information on toxic algae, visit King County’s Major Lakes Monitoring website, the Washington Department of Health’s website on toxic algae, and the Washington State toxic algae website.

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