The Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service will present the webinar “Algal Blooms and Management” on June 1 from noon to 1 p.m.  The webinar will discuss all things algae and cyanobacteria.

The webinar is part of an ongoing Department of Rangeland, Wildlife and Fisheries Management, RWFM, Stewardship Series.

The cost is $35, and advance registration is required at

After payment is received, a follow-up email will be sent from the event organizer with instructions on how to access the webinar.

One Texas Department of Agriculture general continuing education unit is available.

The featured speaker is Brittany Chesser, AgriLife Extension aquatic vegetation program specialist and lead diagnostic scientist, TAMU Aquatic Diagnostics Laboratory, Bryan-College Station.

“Algae is hands down the No. 1 type of aquatic vegetation that I get questions about — whether its identification, management or just determining if it is a threat to people or animals,” Chesser said. “Most of the algal species we encounter are harmless, and certain types of algae are beneficial to aquatic life.”

However, she said, when growth becomes excessive or mixed in with blue-green algae, which are cyanobacteria and not an algae at all, there can be major consequences. These include low dissolved oxygen fish kills and livestock deaths due to cyanotoxins.

“In these situations, it is important for landowners to notice certain red flags, not panic, but also handle the issue as quickly as possible,” she said.

Understanding algae

The main topics and points of discussion Chesser will cover are:

  • How to identify the main groups of algae, from micro to macro forms, as well as cyanobacteria and other harmful algal blooms.
  • The biology of algae and how it plays a role in a pond’s ecosystem and management.
  • Specific management strategies for different types of algae — including mechanical, biological and chemical options, when applicable.
  • The importance of correctly calculating copper by using the label for effective control and treatment timing.
  • Susan Himes is a writer and media relations specialist for Texas A&M AgriLife. She writes news releases and features from science-based information generated by the agency. She also covers human interest stories and events across the state.
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