Algae invades Nahoon River

Green algae has been washed down the Nahoon River following heavy rains this week.

East London museum natural scientist Kevin Cole confirmed it was algae but could not confirm what type it was.

“I unfortunately cannot identify the species as it may be an unknown ... I also cannot confirm whether or not this is an exotic species,” said Cole.

He said there were a number of environmental reasons for the algae.

He said in exceptional circumstances algal blooms could create anoxic conditions in freshwater ponds and dams which lead to a die-off of fish and other species due to low oxygen levels in the water.

He added that the algae should die off and be washed out to sea with the normal estuarine dynamics of the river.

East London water specialist Wayne Selkirk said changes in the ecosystem such as birds moving in between different systems, often caused the introduction of exotic plant species, such as those found in the river.

“The green stuff you see in the river is not just algae but there are also other plants such as the water hyacinth and the water fern which are both fairly harmless,” said Selkirk. — ziphon@dispatch.co.za

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