While the US Army Corps of Engineers continues to study hydrilla and its effects on Kerr Lake, North Carolina State Parks will become the first governmental agency to take action against hydrilla infested areas around the shoreline that borders some popular recreation areas.  Spray treatments are scheduled for next week.

Kerr Lake State Recreation Area leaders announced yesterday that the spraying of herbicides to help contain hydrilla will take place next week.  This comes just in time as summer and the current increase in daily temperatures is the time that the underwater nuisance weed tends to thrive.  It’s also the time that campers flood to the campsites which in many cases border the lake providing swimming and boating opportunities.  Kerr Lake camper Mike Sawaya commented, “I hope the State Parks participate in the eradication effort as available to “water front” property owners. This non-native invasive weed is completely changing the lake camping experience.”

Bryce Fleming, the Superintendent of the seven Kerr Lake state recreation areas said that his staff has been keenly aware of the need to take some control measures on hydrilla’s unwanted presence around boat ramps and swimming areas.  A recent update meeting and some found emergency dollars prompted some treatment.

Fleming added, “Kerr Lake State Recreation Area personnel are concerned about the hydrilla found in the lake around some of the facilities we operate.  We were able to secure some funding for hydrilla treatment after receiving the Kerr Lake Vegetation Survey.  Our resources are currently limited, but we do want to take action to at least treat a few high priority locations.   Recreation areas that will likely receive some treatment are Hibernia, Henderson Point and Kimball Point.  We plan to conduct hydrilla treatment on June 25th and 26th if weather permits.

Kerr Lake Park Watch’s Frank Timberlake was quick to praise Fleming’s fast herbicide application plan, “Bryce and his staff aren’t sitting on their hands on the hydrilla problem.  It doesn’t take a scientist to see that hydrilla is more than a menace to park experiences around infected areas at Kerr Lake.  Out in the water a couple of weeks ago, I walked in the mess and got tangled up.  My 25-pound boat anchor weighed 100 pounds when we pulled it up covered in the choking weed.  Kerr Lake Park Watch views this as a positive, pro-active step for which state parks must continue to fund.  Control of hydrilla is the focus now.”

Superintendent Fleming added that by several state agencies and groups working together, the effect of the money found to conduct the immediate herbicide application at Kerr Lake was at least doubled.

The US Army Corps of Engineers which actually owns and operates the lake so far is not claiming any responsibility for trying to control hydrilla.  The Corps’ position currently is to provide a list of approved application companies which can be hired by waterfront property owners to spray for control of hydrilla.

Posted in: KLPW - Hydrilla Information, KLPW - MAIN NEWS

Leave a Comment (7) ↓


  1. Larry Matthews June 22, 2012

    This is great news! Thanks to Bryce and the park leadership for using these funds to insure a safe and positive experience for campers and day users of the Parks. Now if the Corp would change their position of doing nothing to help this nuisance and danger to our lake environment. Coves adjacent to the UNC property, Peninsula at Kerr Lake development and the Wilson Farm were all severely impacted by hydrilla last season. Hopefully, the Corp will be more proactive in battling this menace by working with the state and local tax paying property owners.

  2. Janet July 9, 2012

    “Would you say the water in Kerr Lake is clean for swimming? What is it tested for?

    We are having a big event there and I want to feel secure that people will not get sick from swimming there. Thanks!”


    We received these email questions from Janet P and quite honestly, we don’t know who tests the water in Kerr Lake for what?  So we will ask the Corps of Engineers and NC State Parks.

    Answers will be posted as soon as we get them!

    If you’d like to ask a question or post a comment, just send it to  Click on the sidebar to be informed when new info is posted on this blog.

  3. Tom O'Neal July 24, 2012

    Great idea Bryce. Spraying poison into Kerr Lake so little Johnny and little Susie can go swim in it. I surely would not let my kids swim in poisoned water that some government agent said was safe. It really amazes me that people want this spraying to occur so they can swim it and maybe later catch and eat a few fish that survived the poison. It is bad enough the amount of chemicals and pollutant in our streams and lakes without the state spending hundreds of thousands of dollars to put more chemicals in our waters.
    So all you happy campers and lake home owners enjoy the poison and don’t worry ’cause Bryce and the Kerr Lake State Recreation Area “leaders” are taking good care of you.

  4. Lester Atkins July 30, 2012

    Seriously,It has always been funny to me that people talk about this INVASIVE weed as it relies on camping and swimming.Problem is the corp has been this lakes biggest issue not the grass.Water levels that kill the spawn because there is no cover in the lake for the fry,and the lie that has been spread about a virus affecting the bass.The grass can be removed without chemicals.The lake is the economy of the whole area and should be treated as such.I have seen nowhere on this lake that the hydrilla is so thick that you get caught in it and I have been fishing it for almost 20 years.But go ahead and wipe it out right along with the fishery.

  5. Vic Miller July 31, 2012

    We need an exact posting of when and where these spraying are going to be. It is NOT safe to be in the water for 24 hours from time of spraying. How are the parks protecting people? How are they telling lake users? How are they posting the dangers? How far does the poison drift once sprayed?

  6. Larry Matthews August 21, 2012

    Not trying to upset you Lester. But, come on down to the back ends of Wilson and Dodson Coves just past Hibernia park…if you can make it past all the water hazard fishing noodles. The hydrilla is not really bad until the water level starts getting below 297′. As a matter of fact, the little cove on the left half way down Wilson Cove is so bad right now, you dare not try to drive a boat through it. And every year it gets higher in the water table and takes more of the cove. I know, I have a dock there.

  7. Lester Atkins August 27, 2012

    I fish that area alot because of the grass.You stated and I see we agree that the water level is the main issue.The corp could care less about the fishery or you and I.If the grass is not bad until you get around 297 then what does that say?As I said the grass can be controlled with mechanical means but do you see that even talked about by the corp.No?I also have a home on the lake and I worry more about the fishery and the economic impact that it is having in the cities and counties around it.It has to be controlled not killed.Too many businesses depend on the fishery to pay their bills and this has to be a concern for the Corp.and we all need to make a stand on their destruction of the fishery.


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