Visitors at Thetis Lake Regional Park are being told not to swim in the waters of Prior Lake, a locally known 'clothing optional' destination, following a bloom of blue-green algae in the area.

The algae can produce cyanotoxins which can cause a range of symptoms in humans and pets if ingested, including headaches and abdominal pain for people, and lethal liver damage for dogs.

According to the Capital Regional District, the algae usually produces a visible blue-green sheen, or "surface scum." However, the CRD also warns that the toxins can still be present even if the blooms cannot be seen.

Officials recommend that people avoid swimming in Prior Lake and keep their animals on leashes to prevent them from drinking or swimming in its waters.

The water quality warning comes just two weeks after the CRD issued two health warnings for Elk/Beaver Lake.

The CRD is still advising visitors to the Saanich park not to enter its waters, particularly around Hamsterly Beach, until the warning is lifted.

While the water advisories are in effect, warning signs have been installed near the beaches.

However, some residents believe that the warning signs are not prominent enough to be effective. 

Updates on the advisories can be found here.