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Recreational Use Advisory Lifted for Willow Creek Reservoir on January 3

Oregon State Department of Health

PORTLAND, Ore.— Oregon Health Authority (OHA) has lifted the recreational use health advisory issued for Willow Creek Reservoir in Morrow County.

OHA issued the advisory on Oct. 3.

Water monitoring has confirmed that the level of cyanotoxins in Willow Creek Reservoir is below recreational guideline values for people.

OHA advises recreational visitors to continually be alert to signs of cyanobacteria blooms. This is because blooms can develop and disappear on any water body at any time when bloom conditions are favorable. People should be aware that only a fraction of waterbodies in Oregon are monitored for blooms and toxins, so it’s important they become familiar with signs of a bloom, exposures, and symptoms by visiting OHA’s Cyanobacteria Harmful Algae Bloom website at http://www.healthoregon.org/hab.

When recreating, people – and especially small children and pets – should be kept away from areas where the water is foamy, scummy, thick like paint, pea-green or blue-green, or if thick brownish-red mats are visible or bright green clumps are suspended in the water. People who see these signs should avoid activities that cause them to swallow water or inhale droplets, such as swimming or high-speed water activities, and keep pets out of the area.

Cyanotoxins can still exist in clear water. When a bloom dies, toxins released may reach into clear water around the bloom. Blooms can be pushed into other areas, leaving behind the toxins released. There also are species of cyanobacteria that anchor themselves at the bottom of a water body, live in the sediment, or can grow on aquatic plants and release toxins into clear water.

For health information or to report an illness, contact OHA at 971-673-0482.

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