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DHS news release

July 13, 2005


Media contact: Bonnie Widerburg (503) 731-4180

Technical contact: Dave Stone, DHS (971) 673-0444

Local: Willamette National Forest, Middle Fork Ranger District (541) 782-2283


Public health advisory issued for Goodman Creek Arm at Lookout Point Reservoir



A health advisory prompted by high algae levels in Goodman Creek Arm at Lookout Point Reservoir, located 14 miles west of Oakridge adjacent to the Hardesty Mtn. Trailhead (Trail No. 3469), was issued today by the Oregon Department of Human Services (DHS) and the Willamette National Forest.


Water sampling by the Forest Service confirmed the presence of blue-green algae (Anabaena) that can produce toxins harmful to humans and animals, said Dave Stone, DHS toxicologist. These algae levels are likely to be associated with dangerous toxin concentrations in the water, according to World Health Organization guidelines.


Swallowing or inhaling water droplets should be avoided, as well as skin contact with water by humans or animals. Drinking water from the Goodman Creek Arm is especially dangerous. The toxins cannot be removed by boiling, filtering or treating water.


DHS recommends that if people choose to eat fish from this area at Lookout Point Reservoir, they should remove all fat, skin and organs before cooking since toxins are more likely to collect in these tissues.


Symptoms of numbness, tingling, dizziness and paralysis can lead to difficulty breathing or heart problems and require immediate medical attention. If symptoms of skin irritation, weakness, diarrhea, nausea, cramps and fainting persist or worsen, people should seek medical attention. Children and pets are particularly susceptible.


The public will be advised when the advisory is lifted.


With proper precautions to avoid water contact, people are encouraged to visit Goodman Creek Arm of Lookout Point Reservoir and enjoy activities such as camping, hiking, biking, picnicking, catch-and-release fishing and bird watching.