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Water Management Associations
Hot Weather and Toxic Algae Lead to Fish Kill at Lago Santa Margarita
The outbreak of a toxic bacteria that last week killed bass, bluegill and carp at the city’s landmark lake has been brought under control, according to the lake’s owner.

Fishing at picturesque Lago Santa Margarita has been banned since Thursday after dead fish were found floating on the surface. Other recreational activities have not been affected.

Preliminary laboratory results of the lake’s water samples indicated the fish were dying as a result of a toxin produced by prymnesium parvum, also known as a golden algae, according to the Rancho Santa Margarita Landscape and Recreation Corp, the homeowners association that owns the lake.
Recent hot temperatures may have reduced the oxygen level in the water, while quickening the growth of the algae, experts say.

Toxins from prymnesium parvum don’t pose a health threat to humans, according to experts, but dead or dying fish should not be eaten. Water fowl such as the geese and coots that frequent Lago Santa Margarita and fishing lures can carry the algae into the lake, according to SAMLARC.

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