Golden Algae Treatment Success

BioHavens succeed in treating Golden Algae in East Lake, California

The Challenge: 

In recent years Golden Algae has become a growing problem, causing fish kills and aquatic health issues in the fall and winter. Chemical management through the use of copper sulfate is not very effective even in the short term. In the long term, copper sulfate is toxic to many of the beneficial aquatic algae, bacteria and protozoa that can potentially compete with the golden algae throughout the water column. So the challenge is to create an aquatic ecology that is detrimental to golden algae while maintaining a robust biology.

The Strategy:

In this success story, the three-point solution begins with BioHaven Floating Islands. BioHavens provide a matrix for beneficial plant root ecology. In this aerobic zone, the water body is circulated through the roots of the plants and the associated helpful bacteria. During golden algae blooms, fish move towards highly aerobic areas, so the floating islands provide a safe haven for them. High efficiency aeration creates “hydraulic flushing manipulation.” This strategy was successful in studies at Texas A&M Department of Wildlife and Fishery Science and Oceanography so it was used as the model for this project.

Case Study:

In the summer of 2016, Eco Lake Solutions were contacted by Jeff Leinen regarding the golden algae bloom at East Lake.  In 2013 there had been a golden algae bloom resulting in total fish die off.  Subsequently the golden algae had been managed using copper sulfate resulting in poor fish health. Based on a visit to East Lake and conversations with Jeff Leinen, our associates proposed a pilot project which was to establish a low impact approach and maintain a highly aesthetic, chemical-free waterscape with a biodiversity of healthy aquatica. The purpose of the pilot was to demonstrate the effectiveness of a suite of ecological strategies for East Lake. BioHavens from Floating Islands West were deployed.

The Result:  

The insidious problem of golden algae was successfully treated with BioHaven Floating Islands and added aeration in this California project in East Lake.
The impact of the BioHaven strategy was to eliminate the annual occurrence of Golden Algae

After two seasons the lake has yet to have a recurrence of golden algae.  The fish populations are thriving, water order has been eliminated, and the lake is clearer than it has ever been. As of July 2020, this situation continues.


“Eco Lake Solutions and Floating Islands West have transformed our lake. What was budgeted to be a pilot, proved to keep the entire lake clear of any ill effects from the Golden Algae.  The water quality, clarity, and overall health of the lake are better than in my memory going back to childhood. We have original homeowners on our lake that have lived here for over thirty years coming in to tell us how wonderful the water looks and that it has never looked anywhere near this nice. Using ecological design strategies, Eco Lake Solutions and Floating Islands West have transformed this lake without the use of any chemicals. We have not treated our lake with any form of chemical in almost two years.”

Jeff Leinen, Operations Manger  

East Lake Village Community Association