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With reduction of golden algae, fishing tournaments can resume at Saguaro Lake

Posted August 17, 2017

With golden algae levels lower than previous samples, the Arizona Game and Fish Department informed the U.S. Forest Service on Aug. 14 that Saguaro Lake can resume hosting fishing tournaments.

Fishing tournaments temporarily were suspended in June when golden algae (Prymnesium parvum) blooms developed over large portions of Saguaro Lake. Golden algae produces a toxin (prymnesin) that affects any organism with gills.

Similar golden algae levels raised concerns at Apache Lake and Canyon Lake but a drop in levels by late July resulted in tournaments restarting at these two lakes.

According to Arizona Game and Fish Department officials, golden algae blooms are not a public health threat. The toxins that golden algae produce are only harmful to gill-breathing organisms such as fish and clams, and there is no evidence they are harmful to people, livestock or other animals. However, as a precaution, fish that are found dead or dying should not be consumed.

The Arizona Game and Fish Department will continue to monitor the golden algae at all the Salt River-chain lakes.

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