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HYDRILLA:  its disastrous effects 

This page provides informative links on the aquatic noxious weeds infesting the waters of Lake Gaston, NC & VA

 

Originally introduced in the United States as an aquarium plant, Hydrilla has spread throughout the US and abroad.  It grows rapidly from fragments, tubers and turions, and can remain dormant for 7+ years.  Hydrilla is unintentionally and easily spread from small weed fragments severed by boat motors.  It is transported from lake to lake attached to boat trailers or motor propellers.  Since it can grow as much as eight inches a day in clear water, this noxious plant can establish itself quickly and spread rapidly.

 

"An ounce of prevention...is worth a pound of cure."  More than 20% of Lake Gaston's 20,000+ acres is infested with Hydrilla.  These 4,000+ acres are primarily concentrated along our shoreline in depths of up to 10 feet.  And worse, the number is increasing rapidly with insufficient funds to control the growth.

 

Please support all efforts to insure & protect your property values through control of this nuisance plant.
 

Hydrilla - a Description

 

Economic Importance   (Excerpt from The Western Aquatic Plant Management Society)

 

In areas of North America where Hydrilla has become established, Hydrilla has major detrimental impacts on water use. Hydrilla adversely affects aquatic ecosystems by forming dense canopies that often shade out native vegetation. Extensive monospecific stands of Hydrilla can provide poor habitat for fish and other wildlife, although Hydrilla is eaten by waterfowl and is considered an important food source by some biologists. While dense vegetation may contain large numbers of fish, density levels obtained by plant species such as Hydrilla may support few or no harvestable-sized sport fishes. Dense mats alter water quality by raising pH, decreasing oxygen under the mats, and increasing temperature. Stagnant water created by Hydrilla mats provides good breeding grounds for mosquitoes. Hydrilla interferes with recreational activities such as swimming, boating, fishing and water skiing. In the Western states, Hydrilla has the potential to impact power generation, irrigation, and water delivery systems by clogging dam trash racks and intake pipes.

 

In areas where Hydrilla, Eurasian watermilfoil, and Brazilian elodea coexist, Hydrilla outcompetes these other two noxious species. Hydrilla has the potential to cause greater adverse impacts to aquatic ecosystems than either Eurasian watermilfoil or Brazilian elodea, both severe problem species in some Western states. In states where Hydrilla has become established, millions of dollars are spent each year for management activities.

 

Lake Gaston Weed Control Council (LGWCC)

Lake Gaston Stakeholders Board (LGSB)
 

Lake Gaston Association

Dominion Power

United States Dept. of Agriculture

North Carolina Aquatic Weed Control Program

North Carolina State University - Crop Science Department

Virgina

University of Florida

Other State Links

Eradication Efforts in the US

 

If you would like to suggest other useful links on this issue, please contact the Webmaster.