George Van Zant on Outdoors: New golden algae threatens California lakes

There is a new bad kid — algae — in town. He has wracked up a couple of lakes already and things are not looking good for the near future. It is a new algae called Golden Algae, because it turns the water golden yellow as it blooms, not turning the water to golden brown like all the algaes typically do.

The new algae blossoms as the water temperature reaches somewhere from 65 to 80 degrees. It reaches this level usually in the spring and winter seasons, different than the rest of the algaes. The Golden Algae is not a major threat to the public as cattle have been seen drinking from the golden waters. New Mexico state schools are currently studying the new menace and they have released information that the Golden Algae should be considered dangerous to fish life.

It has been reported to destroy an entire lake within a couple of days. It should be considered the next biggest problem facing the lakes of California. The Golden Algae is not threatened by winter temps — only those animals that depend on oxygen exchange are affected.

Many lakes of California are affected by different algae blooms and take some measures to defeat the bloom. Lake Crowley, for instance, has to close fishing to the lake because most of the lake in the summertime is crammed shoreline-to-shoreline with piles of algae, making it impossible to fish through. As the cold water of wintertime gathers the algae slowly dissipates and soon the Crowley fishing is again in action. Crowley is in constant battle with the Quagga fresh water mussel for oxygen exchange with the fish of Crowley. The lake demands that all watercraft be inspected for Quagga before entry is allowed. Lake Wohlford has banned all boat traffic to the lake waters due to algae issues.


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