From NC Extension Agent Paul McKenzie
Here are a few updates regarding hydrilla at Kerr Lake. Feel free to share widely with friends and neighbors, but please encourage them to contact me so I can add them to my e-mail list.
[Note: USACE=US Army Corps of Engineers]
First, another comprehensive survey of the entire lake was conducted by NCSU last fall (funding provided by USACE). This is the second complete survey, which will be useful for tracking changes over time. Here is a link to the report:
Second, the USACE has completed an Environmental Assessment of the proposed Aquatic Vegetation Management Plan. The Environmental Assessment is posted at the same link provided above. Public comments should be submitted to Mr. Robert Dennis at USACE by May 31, 2013 via e-mail (JHKERR@usace.army.mil) or hard copy (1930 Mays Chapel Road, Boydton, Virginia 23917).
Third, dock owners should begin planning their management strategies for the coming season. Just like last year, you may hire USACE-approved contractors to treat the area around your dock. Neighbors may wish to pool resources for potential cost-savings. I would recommend that you begin monitoring for hydrilla in late May to early June. This is easily done by tying a rope to the head of a garden rake and throwing it out into the water. Drag back and see what you find. If you find something unusual, let me know and I can assist with identification.
Fourth, there have been questions about physically removing the hydrilla around your dock using rakes and elbow grease. Yes, this is effective, but prior approval is required by the US Army Corps of Engineers. Also, those attempting this method should take GREAT CARE not to allow pieces of hydrilla to break off and float away, which can lead to new infestations.
Fifth, NC State Parks hopes to implement some herbicide treatments around popular public access areas within State Recreation Area facilities. Likely these treatments will be very limited due to budgetary constraints.
Lastly, keep in mind that boats and their trailers are VERY effective at spreading hydrilla. Day visitors (like me) should thoroughly inspect their boats and trailers upon removal from the water, and avoid boating through infested areas. If you are involved with any fishing tournaments or clubs, please consider sharing this point with fellow anglers/boaters.
Wishing everyone a safe and enjoyable summer. Don’t forget to wear your PFD! You won’t see ME on the lake without one.
All the best,