What the Wildlife Department is doing to monitor Golden Alga
Every month, biologists test golden alga levels in Lake Texoma waters. They then assess the risk level of a golden alga bloom occurring as low, moderate or high.
Biologists assess risk level based on the percentage of
golden alga cells in relation to the entire algae community.
The presence of golden alga does not mean there will be a fish kill. The golden alga must produce a bloom before it will affect gill-breathing organisms.
This monitoring program is funded through the federal State Wildlife Grants Program, which provides a 50 percent match of funds spent by the ODWC.
After Oklahoma’s first toxic bloom in 2004, the Wildlife Department formed the Oklahoma Golden Alga Response Team (OGART). The team is working to develop management and response strategies, as well as early detection procedures, to reduce the effects of golden alga blooms in affected and at-risk Oklahoma water bodies. The team is made up of individuals from other Oklahoma agencies, other state’s agencies, federal agencies and academic professionals.
Funding is currently being sought to implement a long-term monitoring program to test for the presence of golden alga in additional at-risk Oklahoma water bodies.
ACTION THROUGH RESEARCH
Texas, the first state in America to experience a toxic golden alga bloom, is on the forefront of golden alga research. The Oklahoma Golden Alga Response Team is working cooperatively with Texas Parks and Wildlife to understand what causes toxic golden alga blooms, to lessen the impact of blooms, and to discover ways to stop toxic blooms before they occur.
Visit the Texas Parks & Wildlife Website to learn more about golden alga and current research.