The Capital Regional District (CRD) is advising against swimming in Elk Lake due to a visible blue-green algae bloom. (Photo courtesy of Dorothy Chambers)

CRD warns of toxic algae in Saanich’s Elk Lake

Visitors advised not to swim in lake and keep animals on leash

The Capital Regional District (CRD), in consultation with Island Health, is advising against swimming in Elk Lake due to a visible blue-green algae bloom.

Visitors of Elk/Beaver Lake Regional Park are being told to avoid swimming in the lake and to keep animals on a leash to prevent them from drinking the water or swimming in the lake until the blue-green algae advisory has been lifted.

Blue-green algae usually produces a visible blue-green sheen, which appears as surface scum according to the CRD. The algae can also produce cyanotoxins which can cause a range of symptoms if ingested such as headaches and abdominal pain in humans and lethal liver damage in dogs.

READ ALSO: CRD looks to deal with deteriorating water quality of Elk/Beaver Lake in Saanich

The CRD says not all blooms are easy to see and toxins can still be present in the water even if the blooms are not visible. Blue-green algae blooms are unpredictable and can happen at any time.

For updates on the status of the algae bloom, visit

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