Lake Altus Lugert stocked with fish again after battle with toxi - KSWO, Lawton, OK- Wichita Falls, TX: News, Weather, Sports. ABC, 24/7, Telemundo -

Lake Altus Lugert stocked with fish again after battle with toxic algae

(Source KSWO) (Source KSWO)

ALTUS, OK (KSWO) -Lake Altus Lugert is finally full of fish again after years of struggling with toxic golden algae.

Because of the drought back in 2012 and 2014, the lake became nearly lifeless after the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife discovered it was full of toxic golden algae. This algae gives the water a gold tint, produces foam in the water and impacts the fish's gills and kills them. The algae is actually still there now, but it's not at a toxic level anymore since the lake is freshly refilled by rain and it has been diluted.

Local fishermen are really excited to fish Lake Altus Lugert again.

Heath Osborne is no stranger to Lake Altus Lugert. It's one of his favorite places to just relax and enjoy some peace and quiet, but also bring home some fresh dinner.

"I catch walleye, catfish, you know, a little bit of everything," said Osborne.

But when the toxic golden algae bloomed in 2012 and 2014, it shut down his fishing spot for a few years.

"It's just one of them deals," said Osborne. "It was a good lake then, but it's coming back real strong now."

Ryan Ryswyk, the Fishery Supervisor in Southwest Oklahoma says the lake has had several growing seasons without any fish kills from golden algae, so they started re-stocking more and sampling the fish.

"Large mouth bass, walleye, sunfish, crappie, white bass we saw quite a few sports fish in our sampling efforts," said Ryswyk. "All of them are very healthy right now. They're growing very well. They're very fat or plump which indicates they are eating well."

Ryswyk says they will do their part and take care of the lake and fish population, but hopes those who fish or take a boat out do their part in keeping the lake free of toxic golden algae.

"Make sure you're cleaning your boat with a pressure washer or hot water in particular, a heated pressure washer," said Ryswyk. "Drain the boat to make sure your live wells are empty. Don't transfer bait from lake to lake in any kind of buckets or anything like that. Then, if you can dry your boat for a period of time usually 5 days in between going from lake to lake that also helps."

Now, the toxic golden algae is not toxic to animals or people, but just because it's OK to fish right now, the algae can still come back anytime, but Ryswyk says biologists and technicians will continue to put extra work into Lake Altus Lugert to monitor the fish population and water.

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