If you have a lake on your property, you may be familiar with golden algae. It's possible you have questions about it. Golden algae is a single-celled organism that can be found in all sorts of water bodies around the world. Typically, you'll see it in coastal areas, but it also lives in lakes and rivers.
Often, this algae is quite harmless. However, it can become a problem if it's able to bloom. Blooming is a phase in which the algae grows and reproduces rapidly. When this occurs, the levels of toxins produced by the golden algae can actually kill aquatic life. Anything with gills can be affected. This includes fish, clams and mussels, as well as amphibians in the gill-breathing stage such as frogs.
The discovery of golden algae occurred in 2005. It was found in an Arizona man-made lake, and its origin remains unknown. What is known is that it is able to spread rapidly, much like other invasive aquatic species. Because it contains chlorophyll, it is able to produce its own food through sunlight and other nutrients. In order to feed, it must release chemical compounds in combination with minerals. This emission creates the toxins that kill fish.
There remains some mystery around the formation of golden algae. A means of controlling it has not yet been developed for rivers and large reservoirs. Fortunately, there are some effective treatments for ponds and small reservoirs.
Qualified pond and lake management companies in Florida can help you to test for golden algae and to treat blooms. The key to rapid management is to detect it early so that treatment can begin as soon as possible. You may need to remain vigilant, as previously treated waters can become reinfected.
Golden algae can attack gill-breathing aquatic life for varying periods, sometimes even lasting months. The location being affected can change over time; an entire water body may not experience growth. You'll often see golden algae in the cooler months. In warmer temperatures, it may be controlled as other types of algae begin to grow.
It is not possible to completely remove golden algae growth, but the spread can be prevented by treating the water body with an algecide. Copper sulfate is often effective. Another way spread can be prevented is with the assistance of those who fish for recreation. It's essential to make sure fishing equipment is completely dry before using it in a different body of water.
Golden algae can be a real problem. While it does spread, this doesn't necessarily mean you will see harmful results such as fish kills. It's a good idea to contact one of the pond and lake management companies in Florida to help you determine if you have golden algae and, if so, how to best manage it.
At Crosscreek Environmental, we believe in providing a comprehensive, environmentally friendly approach in creating solutions to maintain the beauty and health of Florida's ponds, lakes, wetlands, and shorelines. We use the B.E.S.T.™ geo-tube solution and are one of the best geo-tube solution providers in the state of Florida.