Report to the Legislature:

At the request of Representative Keffer, potential research and management strategies for toxic golden algal blooms are presented. Toxic golden algae have killed millions of fish since 1985. If successful, these proposed research and management options will protect the economic and ecological values of our watersheds.


  • Brazos River Authority
  • Tarleton State University
  • Texas A&M University
  • Texas Agricultural Experiment Station
  • Texas Department of Health
  • Texas Parks and Wildlife Department
  • University of Texas
  • U.S. Geological Survey

Report to the Legislature

Summary | Overview | Work Areas | Appendices

Work Areas

Biology of the Golden Alga:
Establishing laboratory cultures of the Texas golden alga will allow experiments to be conducted on what makes it grow, what allows it to outcompete other algae, and what stimulates its toxin production. Methods to efficiently monitor golden algal abundance and toxicity during blooms must be developed to help understand what factors stimulate blooms and toxicity outside the lab. Historical records of blooms will be analyzed to identify physical, chemical, and biological variables of past blooms. (Projected Cost: $2,010,000)

Possum Kingdom Reservoir Monitoring:
A multi-year reservoir monitoring program with intensive sampling over space and time will allow comparisons between toxic bloom periods and non-bloom periods. Factors influencing bloom creation, bloom maintenance, and bloom disappearance will be studied. (Projected Cost: $3,635,000)

Investigation of Control and Mitigation Options:
A model will be developed and validated to explore golden algal management options for Possum Kingdom Reservoir and other lakes. The model will simulate golden algal growth patterns and different management strategies in Possum Kingdom Reservoir. The model development will use knowledge gained from the laboratory experiments and reservoir monitoring of the golden alga. (Projected Cost: $515,000)

Public Outreach and Involvement:
Communicating with the public about golden algal impacts and management options will help address public concerns. The public needs adequate information about the golden alga in order to participate in developing plans for controlling and mitigating impacts of golden algal blooms. (Projected Cost: $80,000)

Management of the Golden Alga in Fish Culture:
Evaluating strategies for the detection of the golden alga, the prevention and control of golden algal blooms, the prevention of toxin excretion and accumulation, and the destruction of golden algal toxin in fish culture facilities will allow effective control methods to be developed. (Projected Cost: $1,660,000)

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