Golden Alga Research and Management

In addition to on-going work within Texas hatcheries and monitoring of fish kills by our Inland Fisheries biologists, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department is working with researchers, other agency officials, and interested parties within and outside of Texas to better understand and potentially control harmful golden alga (Prymnesium parvum) in Texas. A literature review of golden alga was completed in 2001, and in January 2002 TPWD coordinated a multi-agency Report to the Texas Legislature on Golden Alga in Texas. In October 2003, TPWD hosted a golden alga workshop to bring together researchers from all over the United States and abroad to determine what methods might be used to manage the Golden Alga blooms occurring across Texas. Additionally, since 2003, TPWD has coordinated research funding from several sources for golden alga projects in targeted areas of research. Targeted areas of research include the development of management tools, approaches, and technologies to help aquatic managers detect, combat, and manage golden alga in Texas; more details can be found in the Golden Alga Task Force Vision and Objectives , which include a revised list of Research Objectives, and in the Table of Commonly Collected Parameters.

Targeted areas of research include the development of management tools, approaches, and technologies to help aquatic managers detect, combat, and manage golden alga in Texas; more details can be found in the Golden Alga Task Force Vision and Objectives, which includes a revised list of Research Objectives, and in the Table of Commonly Collected Parameters.

In 2003, the Texas Legislature authorized the use of $600,000 per year for two years for research on golden alga (total $1.2 million). In 2005, additional funding for continued golden alga research was authorized ($225,000) and supplemented by matching federal aid funds (total $450,000). In 2007, additional funding for continued golden alga research was authorized up to a total of $450,000.

Golden Alga Research Coordinated by TPWD


Guidelines for Golden Alga Prymnesium parvum Management Options for Ponds and Small Reservoir (Public Waters) in Texas media download(PDF 422.9 KB)

These guidelines have been developed to provide information and describe management options presently available for controlling golden alga toxic events in ponds and small reservoirs in public waters. This information is provided to help cities, water utilities, river authorities, and others evaluate options for addressing toxic events. TPWD is not funded or staffed to treat algal problems. However, TPWD wants to provide information for entities that manage affected waters should they decide to address toxic algal events.


Management of Prymnesium parvum at Texas State Fish Hatcheries

Edited by Aaron Barkoh and Loraine T. Fries
Management Date Series No. 236, 2005

Although golden alga Prymnesium parvum appears to have been in Texas for more than 20 years, it only became a public issue in 2001 when it caused massive fish kills at Dundee State Fish Hatchery and in major economically important reservoirs in north and central Texas. Following the devastating effects of P. parvum on fish at the Dundee State Fish Hatchery, a group of Inland Hatcheries biologists formed the P. parvum Task Force to develop strategies to control the alga and maintain the viability of the fish hatcheries – Dundee and Possum Kingdom State Fish Hatcheries – located in the affected region. After months of synthesizing available information, group discussions and conducting various research studies, the task force developed strategies for controlling the alga to allow successful culture of fish at the affected hatcheries. This document contains some of the written reports prepared by members of the task force on research findings, review summaries and management plans; a few reports published in mainstream journals are not included here.


Success in Hatcheries and Stock Ponds

Although golden alga Prymnesium parvum appears to have been in Texas for more that 20 years, it only became a public issue in 2001 when it caused massive fish kills at Dundee State Fish Hatchery and in major economically important reservoirs in north and central Texas. Following the devastating effects of P. parvum on fish at the Dundee State Fish Hatchery, a group of Inland Hatcheries biologists formed the P. parvum Task Force to develop strategies to control the alga and maintain the viability of the fish hatcheries – Dundee and Possum Kingdom State Fish Hatcheries – located in the affected region.

After months of synthesizing available information, group discussions and conducting various research studies, the task force developed strategies for controlling the alga to allow successful culture of fish at the affected hatcheries. Written reports were prepared by members of the task force on findings, review summaries and management plans. Most of these reports were gathered together into one document, The Management of Prymnesium parvum at Texas State Fish Hatcheries. (A few reports published in mainstream journals were not included.) The purpose of this document is to consolidate the reports for easy access and to share what strategies work at Texas hatcheries and how to implement them. Because of design shortfall (e.g., small sample sizes or inadequate replications) associated with some of the research studies, we caution readers to consider some of the results as preliminary. Efforts continue to revisit some of these studies, as resources become available, to confirm findings as well as to conduct new research to find more effective and efficient ways of dealing with the alga. As new strategies are developed, the management plans in this document will be updated. We invite interested persons to call the Dundee or Possum Kingdom State Fish Hatchery from time to time for any future updates.

Please visit The Management of Prymnesium parvum at Texas State Fish Hatcheries for more information.

Those currently involved in Golden Alga research or monitoring:

Texas:

Outside Texas and Abroad:


Aditional Information:

Would you like to know more?
The Biology of Golden Alga summarizes what we know about the alga and its toxins.

Where does golden alga fit compared to other single-celled organisms?
The Golden Alga Family Tree gives examples of and information about golden alga and other protists.

What does golden alga look like?
TPWD Golden Alga Images has photos of fish kills, golden algal cells, and short videos of live golden alga. These images may be used for noncommercial/educational purposes as long as TPWD is given credit and other site policies are followed.

Golden Alga Information Card: TPWD has collaborated with TCEQ and other entities to produce a golden alga information card(pdf document). The purpose of this card is to educate the public on golden alga blooms and answer some common questions. Hard copies of this card are available for free by contacting 512 389-8750.

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