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BREC using fish to fight nasty algae at City Park Lake

3 months 6 days 23 hours ago Thursday, August 15 2019 Aug 15, 2019 August 15, 2019 6:42 PM August 15, 2019 in News
Source: WBRZ

BATON ROUGE - You can see it best from the sky: masses of stringy, green algae taking over City Park Lake. 

The bright, green blobs are indicators of potentially big problems within.

"Overall the biggest problem is the depth of the lakes," said Matt Thomas, president of the University Lakes Improvement and Preservation Association. "It's become so shallow that they're not really healthy."

 Thomas says the lakes should be around six-feet deep, but this one is only about two. That combined with the summer heat is a recipe for green.

"The shallow water, the temperature goes up in the water. And the higher the temperature goes up, the more likely the algae is to bloom like this," Thomas said. 

And it has bloomed, covering the surface and occasionally the waterfowl. 

"To me, the biggest problem is that it's unsightly. But it also has the potential for, when the algae dies, it will also remove the dissolved oxygen from the water."

Thomas says it poses a serious threat for marine life.

"That will kill the fish."

While BREC doesn't own the lakes, it is in charge of maintaining this one. Spokesperson Cheryl Michelet says they are aware of the problem and have a plan. 

Used before by wildlife and fisheries, the triploid grass carp will eat up all the algae. BREC says they plan on releasing the fish into the lakes in the coming weeks. 

If that doesn't work, the last resort will be chemicals. 

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