McNary NWR Lake Closed After Deadly Bacteria Discovered
(Burbank, WA) -- The Walla Walla Department of Community Health says cyanobacteria, otherwise known as blue-green algae, was discovered at McNary National Wildlife Refuge in Walla Walla County. It's the same bacteria that killed and sickened several dogs off the Columbia River last year. Now US Fish and Wildlife says due to the algae bloom, they are closing the lake at the refuge because human skin contact with cyanotoxins may result in illness like stomach pain, headache, neurological symptoms (for example, muscle weakness, dizziness), vomiting, diarrhea, and liver damage.
Walla Walla DCH says McNary visitors should not swim, fish, boat, drink the water or engage in any other water contact activities until further testing shows the toxins reduced to safe levels. Typically, the toxin remains in the water for about one week after the bloom disappears.