Wednesday, April 8, 2015

08/04/2015: VIDEO: Grass-eating carp raising concerns on US lake

An effort to control the pesky, non-native hydrilla weed in Lake Austin has apparently worked almost too well, KVUE reports.

For a little more than a decade, Texas Parks & Wildlife has worked with the City of Austin and Friends of Lake Austin in a team effort to come up with a plan to control hydrilla, a stringy weed that can wreak havoc on boats and pose a danger to swimmers.
Over the past decade close to 30,000 sterile, grass-eating Asian carp have been introduced in to Lake Austin because their favorite food is hydrilla.

That hydrilla is gone and experts say the carp are now eating anything and everything, including all of the native grasses like milfoil, the reeds, even leaves off of trees hovering over the water.

"We had to do a little more because of the aggressiveness of the hydrilla and we ended up having maybe a little bit too much for the vegetation to recover," said Marcus DeJesus, a marine biologist with Texas Parks & Wildlife.

There are also reports that some of the carp are now turning into meat eaters and consuming some of the smaller native fish.

"Now we have no vegetation in the lake which is not what we want and there's a lot of fish out there consuming anything they can," said DeJesus.

While DeJesus says the carp aren't reproducing they are expected to have a lifespan between 5 and 10 years and can get up to 50 pounds.

Read more and watch the video HERE

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