Baton Rouge, Louisiana
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BREC weighing options to fight City Park Lake algae

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BATON ROUGE - If you've passed City Park Lake recently you've probably noticed the green algae covering much of the water. 

"It seems to be growing in certain spots and sorta-kinda taking over the lake," resident Nicole Scott said. 

For those like Scott, who enjoy the scenery, the algae is an eyesore.

"A friend of mine asked me if there were a million dollars out there if I would jump in the water and get it," Scott said. "I told her 'no' based on how it looks."

BREC acknowledges it doesn't look great but says there are several reasons why the algae is so prevalent this year.

"We have a shallow, hot lake that has a lot of nutrients, that's causing the plants to bloom and to kind of have a heyday," BREC Assistant Director of Natural Resource Management, Amanda Takacs said.

Right now, BREC is looking at a couple of options. The first is to release 200 carp into the lake to help balance the lake's vegetation. That will happen this fall, but the carp won't directly eat the algae. 

"The grass carp would come in and they'll eat certain vegetation below that water to help that balance," Takacs said.

The last resort would be chemically treating the lake with copper sulfate. BREC says it hasn't come to that yet.

"The positives do not outweigh the negatives," Takacs said.

Copper sulfate is toxic to fish and other animals at a certain level. BREC is also concerned the dead algae will suck up a lot of the oxygen those in the lake need to survive.

"Unfortunately, we're in a waiting game right now," Takacs said. "Really until the temperatures drop we're not going to see a whole lot of change, to be honest,"

BREC says either of those options would be short term fixes. Dredging would help permanently address the issue. 


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