700 weed-eating carp released into NC lake

North Carolina news

LAKE NORMAN, N.C. (WJZY) – The Lake Norman Marine Conservation team released 700 grass carp into the lake Tuesday to act as eating machines for an invasive weed.

“There’s about 8,000 acres on Lake Norman that would be susceptible to having hydrilla growth,” said Morris Sample, executive director at Lake Norman Marine Commission.

The weed forms big mats on the surface of the water and prevents boating and swimming.

“It spreads by fragmentation which means you have a small piece off, and you take it somewhere else and drop it, it hits the bottom and will root there and create a new plant,” Sample said.

Rather than use chemicals to control the growth, the Lake Norman Conservation Team has ordered thousands of carp over the years to chomp away at the plant.

“I kind of liked when they released the fish and they were going really fast,” said 7-year-old Valentina Obuckley who watched the release.

Tuesday, the carp crew released 700 of them, which they ordered from a company in Arkansas.

“I’m just glad that they do it for nature and they help it,” Obuckley said.

Some of the fish were a little drowsy from the drive, but eventually made their way into the water.

“If you do little things like this, you can actually do big things for the animals,” said Alba Obuckley.

The team is taking this a step further: They’re tracking the survivability of 50 carp with transmitters and receivers placed around Lake Norman, so they can calculate how many more carp they might need in the future.

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