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Media Contact: Steve Lightfoot, 512-389-4701, steve.lightfoot@tpwd.texas.gov [SL]

TPWD Website: http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us

TPWD News Release — April 25, 2005

TPWD Schedules Public Meetings About Golden Alga

AUSTIN, Texas — The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department is holding six public meetings during May near areas hit hardest by golden alga. Agency officials will provide updates on golden alga research projects and discuss fisheries management strategies, as well as solicit public input.

Golden alga blooms during the last six months have caused fish kills in more than a dozen water bodies in north-central Texas. None of the occurrences have resulted in serious impacts to the fisheries, but they have provided researchers with opportunities to study actual events in hopes of finding solutions to this naturally-occurring threat.

Since 2001, golden alga fish kills have occurred on two dozen reservoirs in Texas. About 18 million fish have been killed by golden alga during the last 20 years, most of which were either forage or rough fish species.

This alga releases a toxin that kills gill-breathing organisms such as fish and clams. There is no known evidence of human health risks.

First discovered in Texas in 1985, golden alga (Prymnesium parvum) was identified in a fish kill in the Pecos River and has since been responsible for fish kills in the Colorado, Canadian, Wichita, Red and Brazos River systems as well.

Public meetings are slated for the following dates and locations. All meetings start at 7 p.m.

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