Quamichan Lake - Blue Green Algae

Blue-Green Algae - Frequently Asked Questions 

Background Information

In response to a toxic blue-green algae bloom that occurred in the summer of 2016, North Cowichan established the Quamichan Lake Water Quality Task Force. The task force was composed of concerned residents, neighboring local government representatives as well as local and provincial experts specializing in lake health. The group was asked to recommend treatment strategies to the BC government in order to improve water quality in the lake. After several meetings and a lot of research on behalf of the group, the task force produced a report to the Mayor and Council at North Cowichan recommending that the Municipality:

  1. Implement a water quality monitoring program
  2. Inspect the outflow of the lake annually
  3. Provide a report to Council on how to establish a program to manage and reduce nutrient loading into the lake. 
  4. Install permanent signage at the public access points to the lake to advise the public of the potential for toxic algae blooms.

Progress To Date

Since the recommendations from the task force were passed by Council, staff have completed the following:

  • Installed permanent signage at all public access points
  • Inspected the outlet of the lake annually
  • Worked with a local consultant to develop an appropriate sampling regime to monitor water quality throughout the summer and fall of 2018.  
  • Coordinated the local consultants work with a professor and prospective master’s student from the Ecological Restoration Program at British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT). Throughout 2018, they will be sampling and analyzing various water quality parameters in order to develop strategic recommendations to improve conditions in the lake. The full report will be posted here upon completion.
  • Updated neighboring governments, stakeholders and the Quamichan Lake Water Quality Task Force on progress to date, the sampling methodology and anticipated recommendations to improve lake health. 

The meeting minutes from each of the task force meetings can be viewed by clicking the links below:

December 20th, 2016 May 25th, 2017
June 26th, 2017 March 16th, 2017
June 13th, 2017 January 19th, 2017


See our Blue-green Algae - Frequently Asked Questions page for more information