Pierce County has issued a statement regarding Lake Minterwood's algae bloom. In part it states:
"To Lake Minterwood Algae Watch Volunteers, Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department has lifted the Toxic Algae Advisory for Lake Minterwood. The toxic algae bloom has decreased in size and no longer presents a public health concern. "
Subject:Toxic Algae Caution Advisory Issued Today for Lake Minterwood Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department wants you to know there is a toxic algae bloom in Lake Minterwood. Areas of the lake with algae are unsafe for people and pets. ·Keep children and pets away from areas with algae ·Do not swim, wade, water ski, or fish in areas with algae You can easily identify a toxic algae bloom because of its unusual color or appearance in the water. Usually a bloom makes the lake surface look like pea soup or green paint, but sometimes the bloom may be a different color (bluish or brownish). Wind and rain can greatly change the amount and location of algae in the lakes. Swallowing lake water containing algae or prolonged skin contact with the algae may result in illness, such as muscle weakness, vomiting, diarrhea, and/or nausea. Anyone who swallows water containing large amounts of algae should seek immediate medical attention. The risk to pets is much greater than the risk to people. Pets have smaller body sizes and are more likely to drink water containing a heavy concentration of algae. If a pet ingests a large amount of algae and is showing signs such as vomiting, lethargy, disorientation, or seizures, take it to a veterinarian as soon as possible. Runoff from fertilizers, animal and human waste reach our lakes and contribute to algae growth. Reducing the use of fertilizers, properly maintaining septic systems, and properly disposing of pet waste helps improve water quality in lakes, streams, groundwater, and Puget Sound. For more information, please contact Ray Hanowell at (253) 798-2845 (email@example.com), or Austin Jennings at (253) 798-4715 (firstname.lastname@example.org), or visit our website at www.tpchd.org/toxicalgae.
Northwest Aquatic Eco Systems has been contracted to chemically treat Lake Minterwood with aquatic herbicide(s)/algaecide(s) as required for weed and algae control. The treatments will take place throughout the summer as needed within the following timelines : May 15-June 20, July 15- July 30, August 15- August 30 and September 1-September 15. Our first treatment will be on or about May 15th and as soon as the actual date is known it will be posted on this site. Signs will be posed on both ends of the lake a couple of days prior to the scheduled treatment. No swimming is allowed during this time. For more information regarding the chemical treatment click HERE
Core sampling, one at the beach and seven at the western side of the beach, showed nothing unusual and no flowing water. Robin Harvey used a weighted-down plastic sheet on the lake bottom near the dock ans found a possible leak where the plastic was sucked down. He will repeat the measurements during better weather, perhaps not until spring.
What we thought would be treatment of weeds along the shore turned out to be contouring of the lake bottom. We were unable to notify anyone or post signs in advance, and many of you called complaining about a motorboat on the lake. We apologize for this lack of prior notice.
Robin Harvey wrote a brief but very nice report on the history of the lake level, and you can see it HERE. The web site mentioned is HERE. Use it, for example, to see how much rain fell yesterday or this week, and how much the lake level rose as a result.
The lake was stocked with about 500 rainbow trout today from the Nisqually Trout Farm in Lacey. The fish averaged 12" long and 1lb in weight, so the plant cost us about $2 per pound. We usually stock the lake three times per year, before Memorial Day, the fishing derby, and Labor Day. By the way, the trout like the south end of the lake near the water discharge which makes the water richer in oxygen and lowers the temperature. Trout do not like water temperatures above about 75°, so deeper, cooler water attracts them. Good fishing!
Since Lake Minterwood was created the lake level has dropped about three feet. Estimates to repair the likely leaks were in six figures, and the Board of Trustees installed a weather station to monitor all the factors, in addition to leaks, affecting the lake level. You can view the real time and historical results of this station HERE.