Hydrilla is the primary problem weed in Lake Gaston but it isn’t the only one. There is also lyngbya, Brazilian elodea, Eurasian watermilfoil and brittle naiad.
Hydrilla was first discovered in the U.S. in 1960 at two Florida locations. Since that time, it has been found in all Gulf Coast states and Atlantic Coast states as far north as Maryland and Delaware, and in the western states of California, Washington, and Arizona. It has also been found in nearby Kerr (Buggs Island) Lake. No one is sure how it got into U.S. waters, but the speculation is that it may have originated as an aquarium plant that somehow got into the lake and then was spread by boaters and anglers.
Hydrilla is native to the warmer areas of Asia. The plant is well adapted to life in submersed freshwater environments. Consequently, hydrilla has spread rapidly through portions of the United States and become a serious problem as it interferes with various water uses, displaces native aquatic plant communities, and adversely impacts freshwater habitats.
Since 2005 there have been publicly funded efforts to reduce or remove hydrilla and other noxious weeds in Lake Gaston. We have tried to gather below resources that may be helpful in learning about both the public and private efforts to rid the lake of this noxious weed.
Public Weed Control
- 2013 Survey Report by ReMetrix
- 2013 Weed Treatment Plan
- 2013 Revised Long Term Management Plan
- 2012 Lake Survey
- 2006 Lake Survey
- 2004 Final Report
Private Weed Control
- Authorized Private Applicators (Listed by the Lake Gaston Weed Control Council)
- Skip’s Aquatic Solutions
- Professional Lake Management
- Lake Environment Articles by Brett Hartis
- NC State “Aquatic Plant Management” website
- North Carolina Aquatic Weed Control Program – North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources
- N.C. Aquatic Weed Control Act & Regulations – North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services
- APHIS – USDA Invasive Weed Page
- The Aquatic Plant Management Society, Inc. (APMS)
- U.S. Department of Agriculture Hydrilla Information
The first U.S. infestation of Hydrilla came in Florida in 1960. The video below is a good guide to identifying this weed.