LEXINGTON, S.C. -- The utility that manages Lake Murray thinks it is time to add more weed-eating fish to the lake. But South Carolina wildlife officials think it isn’t time to put more carp in the largest lake in the Midlands.
Carp are the main way weeds are controlled on Lake Murray, according to The State newspaper .
A study commissioned by South Carolina Electric & Gas found that weeds other than hydrilla are starting to pop up under water, which is a first sign that there aren’t enough carp in the lake to keep the weeds in check, according to aquatic weed expert Steve de Kozlowski, who did the study.
But Chris Page, who manages aquatic weed control for the Department of Natural Resources said his agency doesn’t think it is time to put more carp in the lake.
“We haven’t seen anything yet that makes us think we’re going to have an issue,” Page said.
Hydrilla isn’t native to the lake, but the aggressively growing weed was found in the water in 1993, likely introduced by fisherman who wanted to provide more plant life for fish to eat. Within five years, the hydrilla became so thick it was entangling boat propellers and choking off other life in the lake.
So in 2003, state officials put 64,500 carp into Lake Murray, squirting the fish from a tanker truck through a giant hose into the water. But carp are sterile and their numbers have dwindles to less than 5,000, according to the study that recommends adding 1,100 carp into the lake next year at a cost of about $8,000.