Fish Killing Golden Algae Discovered In California

Golden Algae, doesn't look like much, but produces fish toxicant that is deadly

Golden Algae, doesn’t look like much, but produces fish toxicant that is deadly

Aquatechnex biologists are diagnosing the first cases of Prymnesium parveum or Golden Algae at a couple of our projects in Southern California.  This species is a tiny one celled organism with two small “tails” that can be used to move through the water column.  It was discovered in Arizona in 2005 and we have not seen it until the present in California projects. Golden Algae release toxins that affect gill breathing aquatic organisms such as fish and some shellfish.  The toxin causes the gills to bleed internally and they can not exchange or absorb oxygen across their gills.Fish exposed to golden alga toxins may swim slowly or erratically just below the
surface, lie listlessly along the bottom in shallow areas, or show no normal
avoidance to human disturbance or presence.

There have been a number of situations where massive fish kills have resulted from bloom conditions.  Our lab has the capability to identify this species from water samples as well as perform cell counts and provide advise on managing this problematic species.   Here are a couple of news stories about this in other states.

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