Dear Kerr Lake residents and visitors,

As the summer fun season gets under way, I wanted to send a few reminders and updates.

If you have lake-front property, you may want to do some sampling to determine if hydrilla is present in your area.  Simply zip-tie together the heads of two garden rakes, tie on a rope, throw out into the water, and pull it in to see if there is any vegetation.

Here is a picture of a sampling rake:  http://flic.kr/p/9PKs27

And here is a picture of hydrilla:  http://flic.kr/p/cbQq8o

I am happy to identify samples if you are unsure (sampling instructions below), or if you find a plant you don’t recognize.

If you find hydrilla or other nuisance vegetation, you may want to go ahead and contact one of the approved contract applicators to make a treatment.  They may offer a discount if you coordinate treatments with your neighbors.

You could also consider physical removal of the vegetation using a rake, although I imagine the word “chore” doesn’t even begin to describe that undertaking.  The vegetation can be piled up on the bank to decompose. 

For a list of the approved applicators, contact Chris Powell with the US Army Corps of Engineers at 434-738-6143 Ext. 162.

Under NO circumstances should you attempt to make a treatment yourself.  It is illegal, potentially hazardous to fish and other wildlife, and possibly hazardous to you and your family.  If you observe anyone making an illegal treatment, they can be reported to the NCDA&CS Pesticide Section at 919-733-3556 for possible fines.

Here is more information about hydrilla biology and identification:

Currently the various agencies that participate in oversight of lake resources are digesting the information collected in the lake-wide vegetation survey that was started last fall and just recently completed.  The goal is to develop detailed recommendations for vegetation management, considering the needs of all lake users including boaters, anglers, residents, campers, hunters, swimmers, birders, etc.  More information will be forthcoming.

Aquatic plant sampling instructions:  Collect two large handfuls of the vegetation.  Wring out the excess water.  Wrap the sample in a slightly moist paper towel and place in a plastic bag.  Deliver the sample as quickly as possible to the County Extension Office.  If the sample will be held for more than an hour or so, store in a refrigerator or cooler.

Seeya at the lake! 

Paul McKenzie – Follow me on Twitter! http://twitter.com/pgmckenzie 
Agricultural Extension Agent, Vance/Warren Counties Field Crops (Warren only), Forestry, Horticulture NC Cooperative Extension NCSU College of Agriculture & Life Sciences
305 Young St., Henderson, NC  27536
http://vance.ces.ncsu.edu <http://vance.ces.ncsu.edu/>
252.438.8188 (Vance)  252.257.3640 (Warren)
252.492.3830 (fax)

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