OLYMPIA – Anglers looking forward to trout season’s opening day on Saturday, April 25, are advised that Jefferson County Public Health and Washington State Parks have closed public access to Anderson Lake in Jefferson County due to the presence of toxic algae.
Jefferson County Public Health has determined that algae blooms in Anderson Lake are producing a dangerous neurotoxin, which poses a risk to public health, said Thom Johnson, district fish biologist for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW).
“Because the health department has advised the public to stay completely away from the lake, anglers will need to choose another place to fish on Saturday’s opener,” Johnson said. “This is disappointing because Anderson Lake is very popular with local anglers, but the health risk is too high.”
Jefferson County Public Health also has advisories for nearby Leland and Gibbs lakes. “The presence of algae blooms has caused the health department to warn against swimming, drinking the water or eating any fish caught in those lakes,” Johnson said. WDFW will continue to communicate with the health department and parks to track the situation at the lakes and keep the public informed, he said.
Johnson reminded anglers that other lakes in east Jefferson County have been stocked with trout for opening day and throughout the season. Several lakes include Horseshoe, Ludlow, Sandy Shore, Silent, Tarboo and Teal.
There are also many good fishing opportunities on opening day in nearby Kitsap, Mason and Clallam counties, Johnson said.
The WDFW website http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/plants/weeklyprovides information on locations, dates and number of trout stocked in lakes throughout the state.
Anglers can also find information on WDFW access areas at http://wdfw.wa.gov/lands/water_access/index.html.
For questions or concerns about toxic algae, the public should contact Jefferson County Public Health at (360) 385-9444 or (360) 461-9327, Johnson said.