Presenter: Phil Durocher

Commission Agenda Item No. 6
Golden Alga in Texas Water
April 2003

I. Discussion: Fish kills from the golden alga, Prymnesium parvum, have been documented in inland waters in Texas since 1985. While originally noted in the Pecos River the alga has progressively spread to, and caused fish kills in numerous other river basins since then. This algal species is found worldwide in estuarine waters (estuaries are mixing zones between freshwater from rivers and seawater) and in some freshwater bodies that have relatively high salt content. Texas Parks Wildlife Department (TPWD) biologists were the first to note the occurrence of this alga in freshwater bodies in the western hemisphere. Subsequently, other states have reported its occurrence or possible occurrence. Fish kills caused by the alga can be significant, resulting in both ecological and economic harm to the affected waterbodies.