Visible Signs of Harmful Toxin Reported at Lake Needwood; Visitors Urged to Use Caution

Montgomery Parks officials urge residents to be careful when recreating on or near Lake Needwood and Lake Frank located within Rock Creek Regional Park.

Park staff say microcystin-producing blue-green algae have been observed on the surface of Lake Needwood. The toxin can be harmful to people and pets.

“Signs have been posted around Lake Needwood and Lake Frank and along trails that access the lakes to ensure visitors are aware of the elevated levels of microcystin, and to urge visitors to take precautions,” said Mike Jones, Manager of Rock Creek Regional Park. “Portions of both lakes may be contaminated for the rest of the season. We will continue to monitor and update signs when the warning is lifted.”

Montgomery Parks officials say samples have been sent to the Maryland Department of the Environment for testing, and results are expected back next week.

According to a press release, Montgomery Parks officials are asking visitors to take the following precautions:

  • Avoid direct contact with water while boating or fishing
  • Swimming is prohibited in lakes at all times
  • Keep dogs on leash (as is regularly required at the park), and do not allow them to drink or be in contact with the water
  • Wash hands thoroughly before eating, drinking, or smoking if someone comes in contact with the water
  • Only eat properly cooked muscle meat of fish that are caught in the lake

Recreational activities, including boating and fishing, will remain open at the lake. Click here for updates or more information.

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Jordan Lindsay

About Jordan Lindsay

Jordan Lindsay is a Reporter for My MC Media. Let her help tell your story by emailing


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