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Public meeting will describe plan to combat invasive hydrilla in Eno River

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Pat McCrory, Governor
Donald R. Van Der Vaart, Secretary
Release Note: 
Charlie Peek
Release Date: 
Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Public meeting will describe plan to combat invasive hydrilla in Eno River

Raleigh -- The Eno River Hydrilla Management Task Force will hold a public information meeting April 29 in Hillsborough to describe a two-year treatment project to combat the invasive plant hydrilla in a section of the Eno River by introducing an EPA-approved herbicide.

The informal, open house-style meeting at 6 p.m. will be held in Conference Room 230 in the Whitted Building, 300 West Tryon St., Hillsborough. Presenters will describe the threat hydrilla poses in the Eno River basin, and experts on the infestation and the control project will be available to answer questions at informational stations.

Hydrilla is a submerged aquatic plant that can create nearly impenetrable mats of stems and leaves on the surface of lakes, rivers and other waterways. An invasive species from Asia, hydrilla impedes recreational use of waterways, crowds out native vegetation and ultimately can harm fish and other aquatic and bird species. The plant also can clog intakes where rivers or reservoirs are used for drinking water supplies and irrigation.

The initial treatment zones for a warm-weather introduction of an herbicide are within Eno River State Park. Hydrilla originally appeared in Lake Orange and West Fork Eno Reservoir upstream of the state park, but has spread downstream as far away as U.S. Hwy. 501. Research by North Carolina State University and the state parks system suggests that infestation is spreading downriver at a rate of up to one mile per year. With its rapid growth rate and the ability to grow a new plant from a tiny fragment, hydrilla eventually could become a serious nuisance in Falls Lake.

The Eno River Hydrilla Management Task Force comprises federal, state and local government representatives, including those from the N.C. Division of Parks and Recreation, the N.C. Division of Water Resources and the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission. The group been working since 2007 to evaluate and address the hydrilla threat in the Eno River.