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Carp Help Keep Our Lakes & Pond Water Clean

April 9th, 2021

Many residents at Carnes Crossroads love to fish, so they were excited to hear that the lakes and ponds at Carnes are being stocked with fish by the community’s new pond water management service. But while the Triploid “Grass Carp” that are being added are large enough for catch and release recreational fishing, they actually serve an important role in maintaining the health of our ponds and lakes, which is the primary reason why they are being added.

Grass Carp have been used in South Carolina’s private and public waterways for the control of noxious aquatic plants species since the 1980s, and for the past several years here at Carnes. They are selective feeders, preferring soft tissue aquatic plant species which can compromise water quality. Importantly, they are incapable of reproducing viable offspring, so overpopulation isn’t an issue.

In previous years at Carnes, the lakes were stocked with Triploid and Tilapia, both of which help control algae. This year’s addition of Grass Carp is intended as an environmentally safe way for our crews to help keep up with the aquatic growth in our ponds.

Aquatic plant species commonly found in South Carolina’s waters that Grass Carp will feed on include Naja sp., Bladderwort sp., Coontail, Hydrilla, Salvinia, Potomegton sp., Slender spikerush, Elodea and Duckweed. Grass carp are typically stocked in the  spring, which is the time when these plants begin their early growth. It’s beneficial for fish to be present at this time to allow them to aggressively feed on the tender, young plant growth. Because their metabolism increases as water temperatures rise, the fish grow at an accelerated rate and quickly reach a size that reduces the threat of predators, including osprey, heron and alligators.

Populating the lakes and ponds at Carnes with Grass Carp is one of several ways our team maintains water quality in these community assets. For additional information about Grass Carp, please click here.