Grass Carp, Chemicals Used on Hydrilla in New River’s Claytor Lake

Update 10/3/16 – For more on Hydrilla management in the New River and Claytor Lake, please see the following sources:

Friends of Claytor Lake, “Hydrilla Management Plan,” online at

John Copeland and William Kittrell, Jr., “Hydrilla Management in Virginia: Do the Costs Outweigh the Benefits?”, online  (as PDF) at

On May 26, 2011, the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries released about 6,000 sterile Grass Carp into Claytor Lake in Pulaski County as part of a plan to reduce the levels of the floating aquatic plant Hydrilla.  Claytor Lake is a hydroelectric impoundment of the New River.  Hydrilla is a non-native invasive plant that in recent years has covered about 400 of the lake’s 4,000 acres.  In limited amounts, Hydrilla can provide additional fish habitat, but over time it tends to become extensive and can impair boating, lead to reduced dissolved oxygen in water (when large amounts die and decompose), and displace native vegetation.  Agency official also plan chemical treatments, starting in summer 2011, with the contact herbicide Komeen.  The Grass Carp introduction is seen as a way to help reduce the Hydrilla population somewhat and eventually allow for less use of chemical treatments.

Source:  Meet the gluttons that could save Claytor Lake from ‘hydrilla gorilla’, Roanoke Times, 5/27/11

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