State wildlife officials hope deadly plant doesn't spread

Monday, August 30th 2004, 7:13 am
By: News On 6

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- Oklahoma wildlife officials are hoping an aquatic plant that killed thousands of fish in an Altus lake doesn't spread to other state waterways.

Officials say about 8,000 fish were killed by golden algae in the Altus City Lake last weekend. That's about two-thirds of the fish that were in the lake.

Since then, officials have treated the lake with seven tons of ammonium nitrate, a chemical that Texas has used to fight the plant. Larry Cofer of the Wildlife Conservation Department says the fish stopped dying after the chemical was used.

Officials have also been testing other lakes and creeks for the plant, which produces a toxin deadly to fish. It is not harmful to humans, wildlife or livestock.

At least 17-million fish have died from golden algae toxins in Texas since 1981.