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Dredging Solves Algae Problem
A year ago Sunshine Lake in the Parkside section of Port Charlotte was covered with a thick layer of blue-green algae, choking off nearly 50 percent of the lake’s volume.

For years residents complained of putrid smells emanating from the water and a Jello-like substance in the lake. Fueled by low water levels, hot weather, poor circulation and high nutrients loads likely caused by fertilizer run-off, decaying organic matter and possibly raw sewage, the algal mat grew to as much as 8 feet deep in some areas. One environmental expert called it the worst algae bloom he’d seen in his 30-year career.

Cleanup crews are working to complete the $1.9 million dredge job Charlotte County commissioners approved in December and Sunshine Lake appears to be on the mend. Crews are vacuuming the algae from the lake’s cavity as well as removing debris which has either been dumped in the lake or put there by Hurricane Charley. Officials estimate some 6,000 to 8,000 cubic yards of material will be removed at the project completion.

 
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Common Aquatic Bacteria Responsible for Fish Kill - Test results from fish sampling suggest the recent Spofford Lake fish kill resulted from the presence of a common aquatic bacteria combined with a time of year when fish were stressed from spawning activity and war water temperatures. Test results showed that no virus was present in the fish tested and that the bacteria found was Aeromonas Hydrophila. According to Fish Health Center Staff, this bacteria only becomes lethal to fish when there is another stressor to the fish. In some cases, the bacteria can infect a single fish and then multiply rapidly, causing a substantial fish kill.


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