While Hydrilla is still relatively new to many Georgia water bodies, the amount of headache it has caused makes it feel like an old, unwanted guest. "It's the weed of all weeds. It's the kudzu of aquatic weeds," said Chattahoochee River Warden Roger Martin .
Lakes Oliver, Goat Rock and Harding- three lakes owned and managed by the Georgia Power Company- have been infested for a few years, and Dawson Ingram, the lake resources manager, said they use careful monitoring, public outreach and chemical solutions to control the infestation. There is no eradicating it, said Ingram, only controlling it.
Though the Corps of Engineers used sterile grass carp to control hydrilla in Lake Eufaula (Lake Walter F. George), environmental and legal concerns led Georgia Power to go with chemical control. The grass carp on Lake Eufaula, said Martin, "decimated the fishing" after a few years. Once the carp eat all the hydrilla they do not simply stop feeding, moving on instead to eat all available vegetation until there is not enough to support native fish populations.
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