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Biologists receive $498,000 grant to help save millions of fish in area lakes

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Wednesday, April 9, 2008

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Media Contact: Sue Stevens

ARLINGTON - University of Texas at Arlington Biology Professor James P. Grover and colleagues from Baylor University and Texas A&M University have received a $498,000 grant from the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department for a comparative study of algae on Lake Waco and Lake Granbury.

More than six million fish have been killed since 1988 along the Brazos River due to high golden algae levels, according to Texas Parks and Wildlife. In fact, just last year, thousands of dead fish washed up on the shores of Lake Whitney. But this was a small incident in comparison to a similar event in 2005, when more than a million fish died in the lake over a three-month period. Officials believe large golden algae blooms contributed to the deaths, attacking the fishes' gills causing them to suffocate.

The researchers will try to locate certain coves or "hotspots" in the lakes where conditions are optimal for golden algae growth, and will conduct laboratory experiments on the growth of golden algae and other algae occurring in these lakes. The researchers aim to evaluate manipulation of nutrients in those hotspots as a measure to reduce golden algae growth. They expect to have results in about two years.

Contact Grover at (817) 272-2405 or grover@uta.edu for more information.

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