Golden Alga Wreaking Havoc on the Brazos, Whitney and Horseshoe Bend

| March 11, 2012

Add this to your links to watch for updates – Golden Alga Status Report

March 8, 2012 – Brazos River Basin

On March 5, biologists from TPWD and the Brazos River Authority investigated the golden alga fish kill along the river between Possum Kingdom Lake and Lake Granbury. They traveled approximately 32 miles, from Tin Top Road to just upstream of I-20. Dead fish (mostly nongame) were observed in the lower 18 miles of that stretch. On March 6, TPWD investigated the upper end of the river from I-20 upstream to FM 4, finding dead and dying fish at FM 4 and Hwy 180. The kill appeared to be most severe/active near FM 4. Fish at various states of decay were observed at all locations upstream of Hwy 281, except at Hwy 16. Water samples collected at various locations along the river confirm a toxic golden alga bloom as the cause of the kill. Moderate cell concentrations were found at the Tin Top Road boat ramp, I-20, US Hwy 180, Devil’s Hollow Road, and FM 4; all locations except I-20 had highly toxic water. The bloom appears to be spotty with 2 epicenters; one near FM 4 and the other at the Tin Top Road area. The stretch of the river from Hwy 281 to just upstream of the Dennis Bridge did not appear to have any dead or dying fish.

March 2, 2012 – Brazos River Basin

TPWD game wardens are investigating a probable golden alga-related fish kill at Horseshoe Bend. Sand bass, sunfish and freshwater drum have been found dead, along with stressed carp and gar. There are no dead fish at Tintop Road at the present time.

Lake Whitney: A toxic golden alga bloom is causing a fish kill. So far, threadfin shad, gizzard shad, freshwater drum, sunfish, bass, striped bass, and other nongame fish are affected. The vast majority of fish are nongame. An investigation was conducted on Wednesday and Thursday and estimated fish kill numbers are pending. The kill is most active around the McCowan Valley/Juniper Cove area but the bloom appears to be moving down-lake, as many dead threadfin shad were noted floating in open water between McCowan Valley and the dam. Water samples contained moderate golden alga concentrations at Soldier’s Bluff and Steele Creek and high concentrations at McCowan Valley.

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Category: Fish Kill, Science and Environmental

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