The Lake Norman Marine Commission (LNMC) is announcing a second stocking of sterile grass carp to control the growth of hydrilla on Lake Norman. The grass carp will be released from Ramsey Creek Park, Nantz Road, Cornelius, NC on Tuesday, April 16. The stocking will begin around 8am and the fish released shortly afterwards. LNMC welcomes anyone that would like to observe this activity.
Hydrilla is an aggressive invasive non-native aquatic weed that left unchecked can negatively impact a lake or reservoir in just a few years. Dense stands of the plant can lower dissolved oxygen in the water, interfere with boating, swimming, power generation, water intakes, cause extensive sedimentation and lower surrounding property values. Approximately 8,000 acres of hydrilla habitat is available on Lake Norman based on the 20 ft. contour of the lake. A recent comprehensive survey performed by NC State found active hydrilla growth in 640 acres on Lake Norman, primarily in the Ramsey Creek area. The total stocking will be 12,330 grass carp, the first stocking of 6,000 grass carp occurred on April 11th and this stocking will be 4,000 grass carp. The remainder of the fish will be released on the west side of the lake at Beattie’s Ford Access on a date to be determined.
The stocking of sterile grass carp on Lake Norman is a cooperative effort with the NC Department of Environmental Quality (NC Aquatic Weed Program), NC Wildlife Resource Commission, Duke Energy, Charlotte Water and the Lake Norman Marine Commission supporting this program. Sterile grass carp have been used successfully in Lake Norman and many other NC reservoirs to control hydrilla. This planned stocking of 12,330 grass carp will complement the previous stocking of 10,200 grass carp in May of 2018. These stockings will provide adequate concentration of fish to eliminate the current outbreak of 640 acres and to also prevent the hydrilla from spreading to other areas of the lake. Each year a survey will be conducted in the fall to determine the extent of hydrilla infestation and to help determine future stocking plans. It is anticipated that the current 640 acres of active hydrilla growth will be largely eliminated in the next 2-3 years.
Updates to the plans for elimination of hydrilla on Lake Norman will be provided on the Lake Norman Marine Commission website at lnmc.org. We also will give regular updates at scheduled public meetings each month. The LNMC meets on the second Monday of each month at 7:00 pm at the Charles Mack Center in Mooresville. The public is welcome to attend these meetings to hear updates or provide any comments during the public comment period scheduled during each meeting.
See a video taken by Lake Norman Chamber President Bill Russell of the 2018 Stocking here.