High-density grass carp stocking effects on a reservoir invasive plant and water quality

Journal of Aquatic Plant Management
By: , and 

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Abstract

Stocking grass carp [Ctenopharyngodon idella (Valenciennes)] is a commonly applied technique to control nuisance aquatic vegetation in reservoirs. Factors that influence the degree of aquatic vegetation control are fish stocking density, regional climate, abundance and species composition of the aquatic plant community, and relative grass carp feeding preferences for plant species. We evaluated high-density grass carp stocking in a southeastern U.S. reservoir for control of parrot-feather [Myriophyllum aquaticum (Vell) Verdc.], an invasive aquatic plant that is not preferentially consumed by grass carp and the associated effects on water quality. Lookout Shoals Lake, a 528-ha piedmont North Carolina reservoir, was stocked with triploid grass carp at a density of 100 fish per vegetated hectare. Parrot-feather biomass in the lake was significantly reduced three months after grass carp stocking, compared to biomass in in-situ exclosures. During the second year after grass carp stocking, parrot-feather biomass in the lake compared to biomass in in-situ exclosures indicated continued control, but unexplained lack of growth within most experimental exclosures precluded biomass analyses. Increases in ambient water chlorophyll a, reactive phosphorus, and nitrate-nitrite concentrations were measured after grass carp stocking. The biological significance of observed changes in water chemistry and long-term effects on lake biota remain undetermined. Our results demonstrate that intensive grass carp stocking can control an invasive aquatic plant that is not preferentially consumed by grass carp and reveal associated changes in water quality.

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Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title High-density grass carp stocking effects on a reservoir invasive plant and water quality
Series title Journal of Aquatic Plant Management
Volume 51
Year Published 2013
Language English
Publisher Aquatic Plant Management Society
Publisher location Vicksburg, MS
Contributing office(s) Coop Res Unit Atlanta
Description 7 p.
First page 27
Last page 33
Time Range Start 2004-09-01
Time Range End 2007-04-30
Country United States
State North Carolina
Other Geospatial Lookout Shoals Lake
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N
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