Beware Golden Algae

One of the more alarming issues I have seen lately at national and regional lake and aquatic plant management meetings is the expanding problem of Golden Algae.  Prymnesium parvum is the scientific name of this species of single celled aquatic plants.  This algae produces a toxin that is extremely deadly to fish.  When conditions allow this algae to expand to a bloom condition in the lake, the toxins release result in the rapid death of large numbers of fish.  Fish kills attributed to the presence of this species are filling the media in states like Texas and Arizona.  This species is gradually spreading west.  It was reported in Arizona in 2005 and fish kills have been reported there.

This problem is something our aquatic biologists in the Southwest are keeping their eye out for in projects we manage.  Algae are single celled organisms and need to obtain their nutrients from the water they live in.  Our biologists regularly monitor nutrient levels in our lakes and use a number of technologies to keep these levels low.  This reduces the carrying capacity of the lake or pond for these species.  We also perform treatment to target problem algae where appropriate.

Control of this species where blooms are starting to build can keep populations below levels where toxins are concentrated to the point fish kills occur.  One of the key tools we use to combat algae species is Captain Algaecide by SePRO.  This material is easy to apply and works rapidly to reduce populations.  We also use nutrient precipitation treatments with Alum on an as needed basis to remove key nutrients and lower the capability of the lake to reach bloom conditions. 

Something to be aware of, fish are a valuable resource we want to protect.

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