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Hydrilla in Lake Orange and Plans to Eliminate It Print

There was a “Public Information” open house on 4/28/2015 on the subject of Hydrilla in the Eno River.  The meeting was held in Hillsborough at 300 West Tryon Street.  Ken Terlep attended for the Friends of Lake Orange with the intention to understand the issue and determine what plans were in place or would be appropriate to address Hydrilla in Lake Orange.

 

There were several members of the NC Division of Water Resources from Raleigh, representatives of the Town of Hillsborough, and representative of Orange County.  The primary purpose of the meeting was to discuss a serious outbreak of Hydrilla in the Eno River near Durham and in the Eno River State Park.   Plans include placing Herbicides to address the infestations.  For more information, see the following link:

 

http://nc-ipc.weebly.com/eno-river-hydrilla-project.html

 

The two primary contacts with respect to Lake Orange are:  Rob Emens of NC Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Division of Water Resources, Aquatic Weed Control Program and Tom Davis of Orange County planning who handles issues with water resources.

 

Some interesting findings were:

 

1.  The Town of Hillsborough West Fork Reservoir of the Eno (WFER) has had an issue with Hydrilla and has been treated over the last 4 years with sterile grass eating carp.  Some have been added each year.   The study done in October of 2014 now shows that the WFER is “Hydrilla free” as a result of the actions taken to date and no actions are planned this year for treatment of the WFER for Hydrilla.

 

2.  The Division of Water Resources studied Lake Orange in October 2014 and found Hydrilla – especially in the very shallow headwaters.  A judgment has been made that about 40 sterile grass eating carp should be added to Lake Orange Waters this spring.  The cost is only about $15 per fish or $600 total.   A targeted herbicide needs to be placed in the very shallow head waters where the fish may not reach but where Hydrilla is present.  This should cost about $750.   The DWR as a state level entity will do the work but can only do it if a Co-operative entity like Orange County splits the costs 50-50.   A Co-operative party cannot be private.   Rob Emens  was to provide Tom Davis with a specific proposal so Orange County could formally review and participate financially.   The carp must be placed when Lake Orange’s waters are not too warm, either in the spring or the fall timeframe.

 

 

Plans to eliminate Hydrilla in Lake Orange (Updated 7/5/2015):

 

Rob Emens did provide a proposal for eliminating Hydrilla in Lake Orange starting in the fall of 2015.  As described above, the plan is twofold including addition of carp and use of a targeted herbicide to be placed in the very shallow head waters where the carp may not reach but where Hydrilla is present.  The DWR will do the work and Orange County will participate financially.  Both parties have agreed to proceed.

 

The Friends of Lake Orange will monitor the specific actions taken to treat Lake Orange for Hydrilla this fall.  Actions in future years will likely be needed until Lake Orange is judged to be Hydrilla free.  Thereafter, monitoring will be done by the DWR to determine if further actions are required.  All users of Lake Orange should continue to watch for Hydrilla following treatment to determine if the treatments are successful and any future reemergence of Hydrilla happens.


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