Algae in water prompts precautions



Big Soda Lake has reopened to all water activities, including swimming and paddleboarding. 

Bear Creek Reservoir continues to be closed to paddleboarding; swimming is never allowed. Canoes, kayaks and boats are allowed. Fishing is allowed in designated areas, but rinse any fish caught with fresh water and discard guts.

Big Soda Lake Algaecide Treatment

On August 15-16, Big Soda Lake was closed to all activities in order to perform a peroxide-based algaecide and nutrient reduction treatment. The treatments are approved for use in lakes, and will reduce algae biomass and phosphorus long-term.

Per Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) recommendations, Lakewood needed two consecutive negative tests for blue-green algae toxins prior to re-opening for water contact.

Staff worked closely with the CDPHE to complete these tests and were approved to reopen the lake beginning on August 24.

Harmful levels of blue-green algae at Big Soda Lake in Bear Creek Lake Park, 15600 W. Morrison Road, required its closure to swimming beginning Tuesday, Aug. 12, until further notice.

  • Personal paddle craft devices are not allowed.
  • Rocky Mountain Paddleboard is currently closed to rentals of paddleboats, canoes and kayaks.
  • Dogs and other animals should not have any contact with the water.
  • Visitors are welcome to continue to enjoy the rest of the regional park from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. including the swim beach for shoreline use only, park amenities, picnic shelters, playgrounds and the campground. For more details on park activities and restrictions, visit or call 303-697-6159.

Visitors to Bear Creek Reservoir and the Bear Creek Greenbelt should take the precautions listed below because of a blue-green algae bloom in the reservoir and the creek. We recommend not allowing your pets to come in contact with the water. Bear Creek Reservoir remains closed to water contact, including paddle boarding (swimming is never allowed at any time) but is open to boats, kayaks, canoes and fishing. We recommend having no contact with the water in the reservoir or Bear Creek at this time. Don’t drink the water, and if any contact occurs with the algae, rinse off, including any gear.

These algae blooms occur during the summer when temperatures remain high for extended periods of time. Blue-green algae is always present in the water, but a bloom means that the growth is excessive and likely producing toxins. Signs have been posted to alert park visitors to the precautions.

Precautions to take during algae blooms:

  • No swimming.
  • No pets or children in the water.
  • Do not let pets drink water.
  • Avoid all contact with the water, particularly on hands and faces.
  • Fishing is allowed, but rinse any fish caught with fresh water and discard guts.