Corps to fight hydrilla problem at Lake George

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has developed a three-pronged plan to help stem the spread of the non-native aquatic plant hydrilla in Lake Walter F. George.

The agency has completed an environmental assessment that shows implementing the plan would have no significant impact on the lake. Copies of the assessment are available to the public.

The recommended plan includes:

* Releasing sterile grass carp, which feed on the plant, at a stocking rate of 12 fish per acre of vegetated hydrilla. The plan assumes that up to three fish per acre of hydrilla would be stocked every five to seven years.

* Continuing chemical treatment at minimal levels, with the applications being reduced as grass carp become more effective in controlling the plant.

* Encouraging establishment of native aquatic plants through plantings.

* The agency plans to begin stocking grass carp in July.

"By controlling the expansion of hydrilla on the lake, potential adverse impacts on water quality, fishery habitat and population structure, recreation, aesthetics and property values would be avoided," agency officials stated in a news release.

For more information about the plan, contact the agency's resource site office at 229-768-2516 or call Katie Burge at 251-694-4109 or E mail her at talmadge.k.burge@us.army.mil regarding the environmental assessment.

The final environmental assessment and impact findings can be obtained from the Mobile District Planning Division Web site at http://www.sam.usace.army.mil/pd/PD1.htm.