Scum of the Earth

Clusters of Yellow-Green Algae

Published on: Jul. 10, 2012

saw was a thin membrane incasing even smaller green spheres. Perhaps it had been too long since my days in microbiology class and I wasn’t using the instrument right. Despite my lack of finding anything significant, I was able to take some photos to pass on as I continued my search.

Academic Aid

I followed up with Dr. Bornstein, a botanist at SEMO. He had offered his services earlier on if I couldn’t figure out the identity of my specimen. This included another trip out to Duck Creek and another search for the right mudflat conditions. Back on campus, and under the scope, Dr. Bornstein, like myself, did not find what he was expecting to see. There were no filaments to these algae. He gave me the name of another professor who might be able to help with my quest.

Upon contact, he was interested and I sent him the photos and description of the habitat where I had encountered these small plants. After a week, he replied and reported that he couldn’t put his finger on it, but might be able to identify it by keying out a fresh specimen.

So it was back out to the dried up wetland for another sample of this clearly unpopular, nondescript algae that I was now hell-bent to identify. Since my potential lead had temporarily dried up, I decided to cast another academic net to see if anyone else could identify my photos. Finally, I got a hit. Not a direct one, but definitely in the right direction.

Positive ID

Dr. Nobles is the curator of The Culture Collection of Algae at the University of Texas, Austin. They have approximately 3,000 different strains of living algae, representing most major algal taxa. Cultures in the Collection are used for research, teaching, biotechnology development, and various other projects throughout the world. His response was, “Very interesting stuff! I have not seen anything like this before, but I showed the images to a colleague and I believe he came up with an ID. I think the algae you have is the xanthophyte Botrydium.”

At last, I had a name of a species that matched the characteristics of my mystery plant.

Yellow-Green Algae

The next step for me was to learn more about this known strain of algae. That shouldn’t be too hard, right? A little digging provided some basic background information. Xanthrophytes are different from the more common and problematic blue-green algae. This group

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Comments

On July 25th, 2012 at 10:22pm Ryan Goddard said:

I know you guys have already thought of this, but please, please don't try to cram to many spots in the new area. A few less spots can sure allow more quality hunting. Come on teal teason!

On July 24th, 2012 at 12:31pm cordek said:

There have been discussions of great length and much consideration of installing wells to supply water for Pool 1.  It has been determined the number of wells required to recharge this reservoir would be financially unfeasible to install, operate and maintain. There is also concern of depleting the local aquifer by removing so large a quntity of  ground water.  Pool 1 will continue to be recharged by surface runoff and overflow from the local watershed and the Castor River. 

On July 24th, 2012 at 11:29am cordek said:

Darin, There is definite possibility there will be teal hunting opportunity available in Units A and B.  We are still waiting for the completion of the electric control boxes to the wells and final connection to the electric supply lines.  This should be completed soon and I am anxious as anyone to start getting some water on the ground.  I'll let you all know as soon as I know myself what we will have available.  Thanks for your continued interest and support!

On July 24th, 2012 at 4:06am Anonymous said:

will there ever be a point that the main lake will be so low you would consider putting water "back" into the lake using the wells? i remember somewhere in the early 80's that it got so low it was very difficult to get out into the center of the lake.

On July 23rd, 2012 at 7:58pm Darin said:

With duck numbers up this year on all but a few species, blue wing teal numbers continue to sky rocket up to near similar mallard numbers. Is there any possibility with the new pumping capabilities there will be teal hunting available in the A and B units this year? Season is closing in on us fast and it won't take much cool weather up north to push the birds down this way.....considering these small ducks are the first to migrate as early as August. Thanks!!

On July 20th, 2012 at 12:46pm cordek said:

At the current rate of loss of water in Pool 1 reservoir, it is unlikely there will be sufficient water to flood any of Pools 2,3 or 8 until fall rains arrive.  The electric line has been laid to all six wells in Unit A and B but we are still relying on the electrical contractors to finish the control boxes before the line can be energized.  We need to ensure the wells work and water can be diverted as designed before designating available hunting positions.  This should happen within the next two to three weeks.  After we know for sure we have pumping capability, we will post an update concerning available hunting positions.  Thanks for your continued interest in the Duck Creek renovation project.

On July 20th, 2012 at 9:48am Anonymous said:

Any idea how many spots there may be this year at Duck Creek? With Quick Draw being extended again this year at only the same 3 spots. Increased pressure at the Non-Quick Draw areas will continue, and Just wondering if it will even be worth it this year to head down there.

On July 16th, 2012 at 1:49pm JimG said:

Very interesting, amazing what can be discovered when you ask yourself what the heck is that?
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