The Oregon Health Authority has issued a recreational use health advisory for Cullaby Lake due to the presence of a cyanobacterial (harmful algae) bloom and cyanotoxins (harmful algae toxins).

People are advised not to swim or engage in other recreational activities in the lake where blooms are identified. However, people are still encouraged to visit Cullaby Lake and enjoy activities out of the water.

Boating is safe as long as speeds do not create excessive water spray, which could lead to inhalation risk.

People are advised not to drink water from the lake. The authority says toxins cannot be removed by boiling, filtering or treating water with camping-style filters.

People who are not on a well or a public water system and draw in-home water directly from an affected area are advised to use an alternative water source because not all private treatment systems are proven effective in removing cyanotoxins.

Fish caught from areas where cyanobacterial blooms are present should have the fat, skin and organs removed before cooking or freezing, as toxins are more likely to collect in these tissues, the authority said. The fillets should also be rinsed with clean water.

Exposure to cyanotoxins can be serious and result in a range of symptoms which may require medical attention. Children and pets are at increased risk of exposure.

For health information or to report an illness, contact the Oregon Health Authority at 971-673-0482.

Nicole Bales is a reporter for The Astorian, covering police, courts and county government. Contact her at 971-704-1724 or nbales@dailyastorian.com.

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