Baton Rouge, La- It’s safe to stay City Park Lake is one of Baton Rouge’s staples for relaxation and nature. But the thick layer of algae growing on the water’s surface is challenging that sentiment.
During the summer months, fertilizer run-off coupled with high temperatures can turn lakes into breeding grounds for algae blooms. Heat, moisture, and fertilizer are very beneficial to plants, but if exposed to these resources in excess, they can over produce.
“The plants are going to eat up the oxygen and ultimately cause less oxygen for your fish,” Amanda Takacs, Brec’s assistant manager of natural resources, said.
Ideally, Takacs and her team would dredge the lake or chemically treat it to reduce the algae problem, but for that to work the temperature would need to drop significantly. Until then, BREC is focusing on keeping life under the surface healthy with the addition of carp fish.
“The carp are actually going to help the overall health of the pond by eating native vegetation, like coontail and stuff like that,” Takacs said.
” It’s a positive management technique but it is not a cure for algae.”
Carp fish don’t usually eat algae , unless there’s nothing else available. they usually prefer coontail or other small plants at the bottom of lakes. When the summer heat causes an overproduction of plant life, carp are often added to manage it, and possibly eat some of the algae in the process.
But until the summer months pass and the temperatures drop, the algae will remain.
“We want an aesthetically pleasing pond as well. We know that it’s not aesthetically pleasing right now, but we ask that people be patient.”