Northwest News

Algae bloom prompts advisory at Lake Lawrence near Yelm

A blue-green algae bloom in Lake Lawrence near Yelm has produced enough toxin to prompt a no-swimming advisory.

People and pets are advised to stay out of the water, and anglers are reminded that the safest bet during a toxic algae bloom is to catch and release, according to a news release from the Thurston County Environmental Health Division.

Water samples taken from Lake Lawrence in the last week found the algae toxin Anatoxin-a at 191 micrograms per liter of water — well above the state standard of 1 microgram per liter for recreational water use. Signs will be posted at boat launches and public access points around the lake until tests show the algae toxin levels have dropped below the state standard.

While not all algae blooms are toxic, some algae can produce toxins that can harm the nervous system, the liver, the skin, and the stomach and intestines.

For more information on water-borne illnesses, visit the county health department’s web page at