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Pass Lake in Deception Pass State Park now safe for anglers

November 5, 2021 GMT

ANACORTES, Wash. (AP) — Anglers and paddlers can now safely use Pass Lake on the south end of Fidalgo Island in Deception Pass State Park.

Recent Washington state Department of Health lab tests show safe levels of anatoxin-a in the lake’s water. The toxin is found in blue green algae, the Skagit Valley Herald reported.

A level of 2,576 micrograms per liter in August forced the lake to be closed to recreation, and that number skyrocketed to 26,085 micrograms per liter in late September. The latest level is 0.182 micrograms per liter.

Health officials say the level of public health concern for anatoxin-a is 1 microgram per liter.

Park staff made modifications to the lake to improve water flow, said Deception Pass State Park Manager Jason Armstrong.


“We took out a beaver dam that was blocking the (lake’s) outlet, and we cleaned up the outlet valve so that water can access it better,” he said. “Then we also installed a beaver gate so they cannot access the culvert.”

Those changes and recent rainfall helped flush the lake quicker than expected, he said.

Toxic algae blooms typically start in late summer and are usually caused by excessive nutrients in warm, stagnant water. Anatoxin-a can be harmful to humans and animals even with short-term exposure.