CHIMACUM, Wash. - Welcome to Anderson Lake and watch your step. That is the temporary greeting these days at the little park near Chimacum where millions of tiny toads are emerging from the lake where they were hatched and migrating into the safety of the trees and brush surrounding the lake.
"There had to be millions, several millions of them," said Area Manager Mike Zimmerman who went at last week to see the migration at its peak.
Zimmerman said he has never seen anything like it. Western Toad migrations are annual events but rarely do they occur in such a visible place with so many of them. There are still thousands visible as they move into the woods and marshes. Visitors to the park were amazed as they carefully walked along the shore.
Anderson Lake is most famous for its poisonous algae bloom that make it unsafe for human contact. Two dogs died after drinking water from the lake back in 2006. The algae is back this summer but it doesn't seem to bother the toads. The spectacle is believed to be in its final days and is also being reported in other areas where Western Toads live.