According to Public Works Director Robert Stephenson, the algae seems to be subsiding and at the recommendation of the Oklahoma Wildlife Conservation team, they will continue to monitor the site.
“At the recommendation of the Oklahoma Wildlife team we will not treat at this time and be ready to treat when needed,” Stephenson said. “We will continue to monitor and they are planning to help us monitor the area.”
Water treatment officials were alerted on Saturday about dead fish floating in the water. An investigation was conducted by the Oklahoma Department of Fish and Wildlife Conservation. The reservoir was barricaded off for a couple of hours Monday by city employees so that the area could be cleaned up.
The area leading to the east reservoir has been taped off, due to the cleanup crews coming back and forth. There is said to be no potential harm to pedestrians, but Stephenson does not advise anyone to handle any dead fish found.
The decision on whether the west side of the reservoir will be cut off has not been made.
Stephenson said that will be something that is looked into at a later time.
“That is not our plan right now,” Stephenson said.
According to Greg Summers, supervisor of the Oklahoma Fishery Research Laboratory, which is a part of the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation, the golden algae is not harmful to humans.
“The aesthetics of massive numbers of rotting dead fish is the only health hazard, that’s how golden algae affects humans, but it’s indirect,” he said.
Summers also said that there are studies being done to test the toxicity of golden algae. There has been a history of problems in Texas with the algae. Three areas in Oklahoma have been affected and they include the Altus reservoir, a private pond and Lake Texoma.
There is a possibility that the algae is being spread from boat and trailers that visit different bodies of waters. Summers advises that using boats, or other forms of water recreation, that are transferred from one lake to another, be washed thoroughly to help keep the spread of algae down.
“I would encourage people to wash boats and trailers thoroughly, because they run the risk of contaminating other lakes,” Summer said.