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Texoma Lake Information
Size: 89,000 acres
Built by the Corps of Engineers in the 1940's
Stocked with black bass and crappie along with the native white bass in the Red and Washita Rivers
Two wildlife refuses, two state parks , fifty-four U.S. Army Corps of Engineers-managed parks, twenty-six resorts
More than nine million visitors each year
LAKE TEXOMA ASSOCIATION
THE FACTS: LAKE TEXOMA AND BLUE GREEN ALGAE
What is Blue-Green Algae (BGA)?
Blue-Green Algae Cyanobacteria (aka pond scum) is a naturally occurring algae that thrives in waters with
little inflow and high temperatures like Lake Texoma experienced in the summer of 2011.
What causes Blue-Green Algae blooms?
Blue-green algae are a natural part of a water based eco-system found in almost every aquatic habitat on
earth. Although summer heat and calm water do not “cause” blue-green blooms, those additional conditions
make an algae bloom far more likely.
Is all Blue-Green Algae dangerous?
No, in fact BGA is found in supplements available over the counter at health food stores and pharmacies.
When the Corps of Engineers test Lake Texoma, they test for its presence and for the concentration of
toxins that are potentially dangerous.
Is it a new problem?
No, the reality is that the Corps of Engineers just recently began testing for its presence. 2011 was an
unusually hot year with little rain (inflow) which created a perfect 'breeding ground'. With these conditions,
the algae may 'bloom' and cell counts become higher and, at times, have a high enough concentration to
pose a potential health threat.
What is the Future for Lake Texoma?
We expect that this Spring, the higher inflows and cooler temperatures will reduce the conditions that allow
for BGA to form. Please remember the lake is not closed!!! and no matter what may happen with BGA, Lake
Texoma will always be an amazing playground for boaters, fishermen, sailors and people just wanting to get
Are there health concerns from BGA?
Depending on the level of toxins, a minor rash could occur if water contact is made. If water is ingested, it
could pose a more significant health threat. In extreme cases, it could cause liver damage or failure. The
most 'at risk' are those with a lowered immune system, the elderly, and young children. To our knowledge,
there has been no reported severe illness or death due to BGA on Lake Texoma.
How is the presence of BGA tested?
The Corps of Engineers does monthly testing at eight test sites across Lake Texoma from shallow waters in
coves to open waters. Based on their findings, they issue either an advisory or warning. The levels are
public knowledge, and anyone at the lake will give you up to date information.
What is the difference between an advisory and a warning?
If any of the eight test sites show a count of 20,000 Cells per mL or above, the entire lake is put into an
Advisory, which means there is a relatively low probability of adverse health effects . If an area shows a
count of 100,000 Cells per mL or above, that specific area only is considered a Warning and water contact
(i.e. swimming) is prohibited.
How do I judge my risk if I want to get in the water?
While there is no hard and fast rule, a general guideline is that, the worse it looks, the worse the risk is
likely to be. However, the greener the water, the more likely it will be dominated by blue-green algae and
the risk goes up.
Is boating and fishing still safe?
Boating and Fishing are still safe even when an area is at a Warning Level. The meat of fish is not greatly
effected by blue-green algae. You should clean fish thoroughly, discarding entrails and other body parts
and rinse the filets with clean water prior to cooking or freezing. It is recommended that you exercise
caution to avoid overspray, but there is no reason you shouldn't go to Lake Texoma.
What are the effects on Pets?
Your four-legged friend is subject to the same health risks that humans are. You should follow the same
precautions with your pet as you do yourself.
Want more information?
Contact your favorite marina, store, or US Army Corps of Engineers to learn more about Lake Texoma's
current status. For more information, visit the Lake Texoma Association at www.laketexomaonline.com
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Come enjoy Lake Texoma.
There is no place better.
The kids love it!
Great opportunity to catch a BIG one