Test Results Confirm What Biologists Believe Is Killing Fish At Lake Wichita

Published 01/05 2012 05:43PM

Updated 01/06 2012 12:10PM

The fish kill along Lake Wichita has gone from mostly small on Monday to larger ones today.

While Texas Parks and Wildlife officials had initially believed golden algae was to blame... test results have now confirmed it.

A quick look at the shoreline of Lake Wichita and you know a problem has surfaced.

It started Monday and now, results from water tests have revealed what it is.

"It is golden algae. We have moderate toxicity in the water and relatively high number of cells in the water," says Texas Parks and Wildlife Biologist Robert Mauk.

But state officials say they knew what lurked below these waters before test results were in.

"You can look at the foaming along the shoreline. That's a characteristic of golden algae. The off color... coloration that's more golden is not a natural color for this lake. The water is fairly clear. That's not normal but it's very characteristic of golden algae," explains Mauk.

Not to mention the dead and dying fish.

Although there are a few fish along the shoreline now, it's a far cry that what was here back in 2009.

That was the last time golden algae broke out at this lake killing more than 15,000 fish.

According to Parks and Wildlife officials, golden algae won't harm humans but folks who live along this lake say the carcasses littered along the shoreline is harming the landscape.

"Hopefully, it's not gonna get worse but I don't know. I don't know that much about it so I don't know if it's going to or not, but I certainly hope it doesn't," says Pete Gill, who lives on Lake Wichita.

But only time will tell if this is the beginning or the end of golden algae's grip on this lake.

Lake Wichita isn't the only place that's plagued with golden algae.

Local parks and wildlife officials say it is currently in the waters of Plum Lake, as well as Lake Diversion.

And, they say it's a daily battle for employees at the Dundee Fish Hatchery.

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