Eel River Algal Foray

Algal Forays.  Algal experts Rex Lowe (University of Michigan Biological Station, University of Wisconsin Madison) and Paula Furey (St. Catherine’s University) kindly teach a short course in algal identification to watershed citizen scientists and students about every other year at Angelo.  These courses train folks to recognize algal characteristics macroscopically (in the field) and microscopically (in the lab, or with a streamside field microscope).  In many cases, a few days of training with follow up practice will allow non-experts to learn to identify the major groups of algae, the most common genera, and, importantly, to distinguish the “good” (nutritious) algae, like most diatoms, the “bad” (potentially toxic) algae, like some cyanobacteria, and the structural (green) macroalgae that proliferate, and can be overgrown by either diatoms or cyanobacteria).

Here is the report for the June 2013 course:

2013 Algal Foray June 28-30 2013

We had a great weekend workshop collecting and learning about the algae of the Eel and Klamath Rivers, and exchanging information and ideas about the changes in cyanobacteria and algae at the base of the Eel’s food web, what might be causing these, how to track them spatially and uncover sources and trends, and how we might collaborate to understand, predict, and prevent or suppress toxic outbreaks of cyanobacteria. We found and identified 53 genera of cyanobacteria, green algae, and diatoms from 4 distinct habitats within the Angelo Coast Range Reserve (South Fork Eel at Elder Confluence; Lower Elder just up from the bridge; Upper Elder just above the waterfall; and the isolated pools on river right of Jane’s rockbar that receive the seepage under the Elder-S. Fk. divide.