What Exactly Is Hydrilla?

In areas of North America where Hydrilla has become established, Hydrilla has major detrimental impacts on water use. Hydrilla adversely affects aquatic ecosystems by forming dense canopies that often shade out native vegetation. Extensive monospecific stands of Hydrilla can provide poor habitat for fish and other wildlife, although Hydrilla is eaten by waterfowl and is considered an important food source by some biologists. While dense vegetation may contain large numbers of fish, density levels obtained by plant species such as Hydrilla may support few or no harvestable-sized sport fishes. Dense mats alter water quality by raising pH, decreasing oxygen under the mats, and increasing temperature. Stagnant water created by Hydrilla mats provides good breeding grounds for mosquitoes. Hydrilla interferes with recreational activities such as swimming, boating, fishing and water skiing. In the Western states, Hydrilla has the potential to impact power generation, irrigation, and water delivery systems by clogging dam trash racks and intake pipes.

Hydrilla Growth on Lake Gaston Waters
Hydrilla Growth
Courtesy of GNU
In areas where Hydrilla, Eurasian watermilfoil, and Brazilian elodea coexist, Hydrilla outcompetes these other two noxious species. Hydrilla has the potential to cause greater adverse impacts to aquatic ecosystems than either Eurasian watermilfoil or Brazilian elodea, both severe problem species in some Western states. In states where Hydrilla has become established, millions of dollars are spent each year for management activities.
 
  

Hydrilla - Its Disastrous Effects on Lake Gaston Waters

Originally introduced in the United States as an aquarium plant, Hydrilla has spread throughout the US and abroad. It grows rapidly from fragments, tubers and turions, and can remain dormant for 7+ years. Hydrilla is unintentionally and easily spread from small weed fragments severed by boat motors. It is transported from lake to lake attached to boat trailers or motor propellers. Since it can grow as much as eight inches a day in clear water, this noxious plant can establish itself quickly and spread rapidly.

Lake Gaston Waters continue to be infested with this noxious weed, despite the LGA's efforts to assist with weed management. It is extremely important that all counties surrounding Lake Gaston be involved with solutions to protect Lake Gaston waters.
Hydrilla - Noxious Weed found on Lake Gaston Waters
Picture of Hydrilla
courtesy of US Geological Survey

Informative Links On Aquatic Noxious Weeds Infesting Lake Gaston Waters

  • Lake Gaston Weed Control Council (LGWCC)...
  • Lake Gaston Association Weed Management Plan...
  • Grass Carp & Weed Control...
  • Virginia Invasive Plant Species...
  • NC Aquatic Weed Control Programs...
  • NC State University - Aquatic Plant Management...