Dead fish popping up in a Big Country lake isn't a common occurence. But that's exactly what people reported recently in a lake just north of Abilene.
"Once it gets in a lake, without fresh water, the lake will be largely devoid of fish for periods of time," says Spencer Dumont, a fisheries biologist.
Monday morning, officials with Texas Parks and Wildlife Inland Fisheries got a call of several dead fish out at North Anson Lake. They came to test the water to see just what had wiped out a portion of its marine life.
Dumont says, "Results came back positive for golden alga. High density and a moderate toxicity."
Golden alga are tiny microorganisms that were discovered in Texas freshwaters in the mid 80's and now are dominant. During blooms and in cooler weather conditions, golden alga releases unique toxins to gil-breathing species. However, a case like this in the area hasn't been documented since 2003.
"Yeah it's rare, in this area here," says Dumont.
However, it's a problem without any real solution.
Adding, "If we get a big rain and we get some fresh water into the lake, then since golden alga is kind of a brackish water species, then maybe that fresh water will eliminate it from the lake. But outside of that, there's nothing you can do."
And no telling how long the fish in this lake will be affected.