PHOENIX – With golden algae levels lower than previous samples, the Arizona Game and Fish Department informed the Forest Service on August 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 and Canyon Lakes 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.
Aimee Staten has worn several hats over the last few years, but she recently put on one of her more familiar caps after four years of working in nonprofits: That of a journalist. She has 14 years of experience in the news business as a reporter with eight of those years as the managing editor of the Eastern Arizona Courier.