Golden algae at Saguaro, Canyon and Apache lakes; mass fish die-off

Published: Monday, March 28, 2022 - 10:51am
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The Arizona Game and Fish Department has confirmed the presence of golden algae blooms in some Salt River chain lakes: Saguaro, Canyon and Apache.  

There have been reports, over the last month, of thousands of dead or dying fish being spotted in these lakes northeast of Phoenix. The department’s investigation found the likely cause was the bloom. The fish most affected were Threadfin Shad, a species that is very sensitive to golden algae.

Contact with golden algae is not known to impact human health or non-gill-breathing wildlife. 

Monday's Salt River Project annual springtime switch from the Verde to the Salt River is expected to add water and thereby flush through the lakes and possibly decrease the severity of the die-off. 

Similar-sized die-offs have happened before because of golden algae blooms.

In a release, the Department says more information on golden algae can be found at