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    Sheila Oliver

    Precautionary seasonal recreational use health advisory in effect for Lake Billy Chinook.

    June 11, 2019

    PORTLAND, Ore.—The Oregon Health Authority has issued a precautionary seasonal recreational use health advisory for Lake Billy Chinook due to cyanobacterial harmful algal blooms that routinely develop in the lake.

    Lake Billy Chinook is located about 12 miles west of Madras, in Jefferson County. The advisory will remain in effect through Nov. 1, 2019.

    Tests done at Lake Billy Chinook since 2015 show that blooms in the lake consistently produce cyanotoxins over OHA’s recreational use health guideline values for people and pets. In the past, OHA would issue and lift advisories on the lake as data were made available. Testing is costly, making it difficult for local water body managers to regularly test the lake during times when blooms occur. This makes it challenging to determine when cyanotoxins are being produced, and if an advisory is needed.

    As a result, OHA and local partners determined that a 2019 seasonal advisory for the lake is appropriate. At this time, the OHA Public Health Division is reminding the public of the steps to take to reduce exposure to cyanobacterial blooms and the cyanotoxins that may be present throughout the season. OHA staff will evaluate the effectiveness of this advisory at the end of the 2019 season.

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