Thursday, March 24, 2011

Dreaded Fish Killing alga bloom may be headed for Lake Whitney - 24th Mar 2011

LAKE WHITNEY – A toxic golden alga bloom that has killed over 80,000 fish in Lake Granbury since the first week of January appears to be headed down the Brazos River toward Lake Whitney, according to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.

The TPWD Kills and Spills team and the Brazos River Authority have been conducting weekly fish kill investigations since early January. At the beginning of the month, the estimated number of dead fish due to the kill was 82,418.

TPWD reports that around 82 percent of the fish were non-game species. Affected species have been freshwater drum, channel catfish, flathead catfish, white crappie, white bass, largemouth bass, striped bass, various sunfish species, gar, gizzard shad, threadfin shad and others.

On March 5, Somervell County Game Warden Joni Kuykendall was notified of a fish kill on the Brazos River below Lake Granbury. An investigation into that fish kill has begun.

It is suspected that the toxic golden alga bloom is now in the Brazos River, affecting some 50 miles of river between Lake Granbury and Lake Whitney. Results are pending a water sample taken to check for the presence and toxicity of golden alga in the river.

An official estimate of dead fish in the river has not yet been completed; however, biologists believe the number of fish killed in the Brazos River may very well surpass the estimated number of fish killed in Lake Granbury over the past two months.

According to TPWD, fish kills due to toxic golden alga in Texas seem to be increasing in duration and location. In February 2005, the largest known one-day total of dead fish occurred at Lake Whitney when an estimated 4.9 million were killed. Read More