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State lifts algae health alert for Lake Billy Chinook


The Oregon Health Authority said Wednesday it has lifted a health advisory issued June 25 for Lake Billy Chinook, 26 miles southwest of Madras in Jefferson County.

Water monitoring has confirmed that the level of blue-green algae toxins are well below guideline values for human exposure, officials said.

However, the agency said it still “recommends that people continue to be cautious with their pets, because toxins are still above the very low exposure levels established for dogs.”

Oregon health officials advise recreational visitors to always be alert to signs of algae blooms on bodies of water in Oregon, because only a fraction of the many lakes in Oregon are monitored for blue-green algae by state and federal agencies.

People and their pets should avoid contact if the water is foamy, scummy, thick like paint, pea-green, blue-green or brownish red in color, or if a thick mat of blue-green algae is visible in the water.

The Cove Palisades State Park has some campsites remaining for Thursday stays, but the holiday weekend is booked, state parks officials said. The park receives more than 77,000 campers and 400,000 day visitors a year.

“Bring your kids and your boats, and come enjoy the lake,” says Park Manager Dave Slaght. “It’s going to be a beautiful weekend. Enjoy it safely.”

For local information for Perry South Campground, contact the U.S. Forest Service at 541-549-7700 .

For health information, to report human or pet illnesses due to blooms, or to ask questions about a news release, contact the Oregon Health Authority at 971-673-0400 . For information regarding advisories issued or lifted for the season, contact the Oregon Public Health toll-free information line at 1-877-290-6767 or visit the Harmful Algae Blooms website at

and select “Algae Bloom Advisories.”

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