Blue-green algae causes fish die-off at Pearrygin Lake

An algae bloom in Pearrygin Lake has killed fish and prompted the state park to post signs warning visitors of possible health hazards.

A number of dead fish were noticed near the shoreline around the Pearrygin Creek outflow on Nov. 20, according to Pearrygin Lake State Park Manager Rick Lewis. A green sheen that looked “like green spray paint” was also seen covering the surface of the water in the area, Lewis said.

Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife District 6 biologist Ryan Fortier identified the sheen as a type of blue-green algae, and told Lewis it looked as though the fish were suffering from oxygen depletion rather than toxicity, Lewis said.

“We often see algae blooms in late summer when the water warms up,” said Lewis,” but it has never affected the fish population here before.”

On Monday (Dec. 1), Lewis was waiting for a test kit to arrive so that he might send in a sample of the algae to the King County Environmental Lab for testing; however, since the lake had frozen over it may be more difficult to obtain a sample, he said.

“We and Silverline Resort are really interested to know what’s going on. We don’t want any of our visitors to be harmed,” he said.

Signs are posted on the park gates and at the state park office advising visitors and their pets not to drink from the lake or handle the dead fish.

Fishing is closed on Pearrygin Lake until April 25, 2015. Ice fishing is not permitted on the lake.


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