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Hunters and Anglers May Intentionally Be Causing Hydrilla Invasion
Despite efforts to stem the spread of hydrilla in Kerr Reservoir, officials continue to find new growths of the invasive aquatic plant.

A 2014 survey of the lake estimated there were 1,116 acres of hydrilla, an increase of nearly 230 acres from 2013.

After stumbling upon a fishing blog where an angler was touting the benefits of hydrilla to fish production and later a hunting blog commenting on how hydrilla benefits waterfowl hunters, officials are wondering if the increase is intentional.

These outdoorsmen see hydrilla as a beneficial plant that affords a better ground for fish and feeding ground for waterfowl. This view is very shortsighted though, hydrilla overtakes and kills off native plants, but off sunlight to the water, diminishes oxygen levels needed for healthy fish and native plants, and can carry diseases that are deadly to certain waterfowl and the predatory birds that eat them, like eagles.

It is a crime in Virginia to knowingly or unknowingly spread noxious and invasive aquatic vegetation in the waterways and the United States Army Corps of Engineers will pursue criminal charges.


 
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