September 30, 2013 at 3:09 am #372MikeKeymaster
Fisheries biologists in Oklahoma and Texas are concerned about the
deaths of a half-million fish in Lake Texoma.
The largest number of fish killed were threadfin, but largemouth
bass, crappie and bluegill also were among those found dead in a five-
mile area between Cedar Mills and Highport Marina on the Texas side
of the lake.
Texas officials found the fish on Friday but the outbreak is believed
to have begun March 6.
Golden algae is being blamed for the fish kill. There is no evidence
that the toxins are harmful to humans, officials said.
Fisheries biologists will hold a news conference Thursday afternoon
to discuss the investigation at the University of Oklahoma Biological
Research Station in Willis.
The 89,000-acre reservoir on the Texas-Oklahoma border has been
monitored for the possible spread of golden algae since a fish kill
in January in the Lebanon pool of upper Lake Texoma was traced to the
Since 2001, golden algae fish kills have occurred on 23 reservoirs in
Texas and the toxin has been linked to subsequent fish kills in North
Carolina, South Carolina and New Mexico.
Lake Texoma is the first reported finding in the Red River basin
downstream of Lake Kemp, which is southwest of Wichita Falls, Texas.
Golden algae blooms typically occur in winter and often leave a
golden ring around the lake shoreline.
“This fish kill is of particular concern due to the fact that it took
place in the main body of the lake, while the first kill was in the
more isolated Lebanon Pool,” said Paul Mauck, south-central region
fisheries supervisor for the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife
“When the algae blooms it kills fish by releasing toxins into the
water that cause fish gills to hemorrhage. The good news is that
there is no evidence to suggest the toxins are a threat to human
Anglers who observe fish dying in Lake Texoma can contact Paul Mauck
at (580) 924-4087, or the state Department of Wildlife Conservation’s
Fisheries Division, (405) 521-3721.
Information from: The Daily Ardmoreite, http://www.ardmoreite.com
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