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Old 02-15-2015, 11:30 AM   #1
MajorH
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Default Golden Algae Again. Jan 2015

TPWD January 30, 2015. Lake Sweetwater ? TPWD biologists are investigating a fish kill on Lake Sweetwater. The biologists reported that the dead fish were mostly common carp, but there were a few channel catfish as well. Golden alga is the suspected cause, but has not been confirmed at this time.

TPWD February 3, 2015. Lake Sweetwater ? Water samples collected on January 31 have confirmed that the fish kill was the result of golden alga. The three sites where water samples were taken all contained extremely high cell counts and were characterized as highly toxic.

Sweetwater Reporter, 11 Feb 2015
Golden algae killing fish in Lake Sweetwater
BY BRIAN MCCORMACK Staff Writer

Low lake levels have put a damper on fishing and recreation at Lake Sweetwater. Now, there's another culprit which is leading to the decline of aquatic wildlife: golden algae.

According to Nolan County Game Warden Jake Simmering, the algae typically bloom at the end of win- ter or early spring, and it's not good news for the fish who are forced to cohabitate with it.

"The bloom has resulted in a fish kill," Simmering described in a press release to the Reporter. "Our inland fisheries biologists out of Abilene (operated by Texas Parks and Wildlife Division) checked three locations at the lake and all had golden algae present."

According to information provided by Simmering and the TPWD, golden algae releases a toxin which can collect in the gills of fish, eventually restricting normal breathing.

Simmering went on to say that at this point, it's con- sidered a mild kill, but the toxicity levels were high when tested. The fish effected the most at this point include carp and channel catfish.

There are methods to eradicate golden algae, but Simmering said it isn't a cost-effective process, and that restocking the lake once the algae is clear is the most likely scenario. The algae likely will die off on its own as the West Texas summer heat arrives.

The inland fisheries branch of the TPWD will be responsible for restocking the lake once the algae has subsided.

Though not considered a risk to humans, Simmering said that the Texas Department of State Health Services has advised the public to never pick up and handle or try to cook dead or dying fish for consumption.

Golden algae has appeared in Lake Sweetwater in previous years.
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