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Jan 23rd, 2013
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ideas on adding vegetation to lake #13809981 12/17/20 04:21 PM
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Eric Offline OP
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our lake got wiped out about 10 years ago. Poisoned AND 1500 grass carp. A few of us are looking into adding some vegetation we can control to keep non fisherpersons happy. Lake is 365 acres.Average depth about 10'. 17' by dam 100 acres about 5'

any advice/places that can add vegetation ( lily pads/hydillla / coontail appreciated.. Bass now are fair at best. Some blue gills/coppernose, good crappie population.

Please pm or text me at 972 740 1243 THx

Re: ideas on adding vegetation to lake [Re: Eric] #13834298 01/06/21 05:09 PM
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Few questions.

What plants were growing in there before the eradiation?
What has the water clarity been like the last couple years? (green or brown color and how far can you see into the water)
Exactly how long ago were the grass carp stocked, and were they triploids? (illegal not to be triploid in Texas, but I gotta ask... it matters in terms of reestablishing vegetation)


Scott Jones
Re: ideas on adding vegetation to lake [Re: Eric] #13835477 01/07/21 09:31 AM
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Eric Offline OP
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sorry to say i do not know alot of answers as it was before I moved here. Guessing time was about 10-12 years ago.

Not sure on vegetation other than lily pads for sure but guessing hydrilla too.

Again was told 1500 grass carp in a 365 acre lake. Triploids ????

Clarity is fair but muddys up easily after a good rain or lot o wind. No rock per se .Guessing 12-24 inch visibilty on average

No feeder creeks but many springs

Thx for any help

Re: ideas on adding vegetation to lake [Re: Eric] #13836398 01/07/21 08:02 PM
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No worries.

If grass carp were used, and apparently effectively, coontail, hydrilla, pondweeds, and/or naiads were likely in the lake. Grass carp physically can't control American lotus or lilies, those must be treated with herbicide.

We're seeing pretty consistently in Arkansas that triploid grass carp start dying out at about 10 years post-stocking. Before that happens, vegetation reestablishment projects have had a hard time getting going. They nibble away anything that sprouts pretty quick.

What we've also noticed is that the seed banks for hydrilla and coontail can survive for years waiting on favorable conditions (like reduced herbivore populations, clarity improvements, soil disturbance).

It may sound dumb, but I have personally seen and have read some peer-reviewed scientific literature suggesting this might work on a larger scale; consider trying it. When the water gets to the low-mid 50's this spring, go to an area of the lake that was known to grow vegetation in the past and pull something behind a boat that will disturb the mud. Maybe a section of old chain link fence, a big rake, maybe even a water pump contraption with a drag line that will blow the sediment around. Map out a grid that you'll scour (a few 40 x 40 ft areas for example) and make mental notes or save gps waypoints of the edges of the plots. Come back early to mid summer and see if you get some growth in the areas you disturbed. The seeds of some submerged plant species are really sensitive to the depth they are buried and being re-exposed or brought back to the surface of the mud can activate them into sprouting. If your lake had a long history of vegetation growth, there is probably a viable dormant seed bank still down there. If those sprouts in your plot survive to maturity, you have a reproducing crop again and the revegetation will begin. You can check for growth over your disturbed plots really easy with sonar. I have been using down imaging set to 455 khz for a wider beam angle and it's easy to find individual sprouts.

While you have those test plots in one part of the lake, you can actively plant in others to compare results. You should try some protected enclosures set 2-4 feet deep with whichever plants you end up choosing planted within them. There may still be some carp left in the system, and there are always turtles that will nibble on new sprouts or common carp that will inadvertently disturb the sprouts while feeding on muck so protected enclosures are usually necessary to establish founder colonies. There is an awesome publication on reestablishing vegetation in reservoirs published by Texas Parks and Wildlife that we've been using to help guide some projects in Arkansas that are working: https://tpwd.texas.gov/publications/pwdpubs/media/pwd_rp_t3200_1770.pdf. Diagrams of enclosures start on page 28. On page 52 they have listed a few sources for native aquatic plants, these suppliers may know folks that could do the work for you as well.

THAT SAID; vegetation was a problem before and it will become a problem again if left unchecked. Look into the pondweeds (sago, American, waterthread), wild celery (eel grass/vallisneria), or coontail for submerged plants. White water lily (fragrant water lily) is generally considered easier to control than American lotus; it doesn't grow as deep or spread as fast from what I have seen.

Make sure you have approval from all parties who have interest in the lake before proceeding with this.

You'll not find a legal source of hydrilla and please do not try to harvest/transport it from a public fishery. The species mentioned above will do you fine.

When plants get established again, don't rule out putting in maybe 1 grass carp per vegetated acre every 5 or so years just to help keep things from getting out of control. That, or be ready for periodic herbicide applications (that will be way more expensive and labor intensive than grass carp). Grass carp are an excellent tool, but they have to be used very carefully.

There are a few other experts that come through the forum from time to time. Hope to hear their take.

Also, please share updates from time to time.


Scott Jones
Re: ideas on adding vegetation to lake [Re: Eric] #13836570 01/07/21 09:49 PM
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Eric Offline OP
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I forgot to add that it was also chemically treated. A lady with POA clout was trying to sell her house and prospective buyers mentioned to many weeds to water ski . I hear stories it was one of the best fisheries in E TEx . A few older guys chose Callender over Echo , Athens and Fork because of the bass.

THx for your detailed message.Much apprciated. Can we buy plants or seeds of the non invasive vegetation?

Re: ideas on adding vegetation to lake [Re: Eric] #13836712 01/07/21 11:28 PM
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Nice looking lake! After seeing the property, I have a slightly different view on the situation due to the number of shoreline homes.

Before going any further, if there is not already one in place, I think it would be a very good idea to submit a motion to create a lake management committee at your next POA meeting (or request a virtual meeting be held to bring it up). Recruit some residents that will take the committee seriously and start business by developing a general set of rules your committee will obey (how members are appointed/replaced, how will you go about seeking professional guidance on lake issues, how will you legitimately account for the interests of all the different lake user groups in the POA, etc.), and then begin writing a lake management plan. You can invite state or private biologists for input on the plan (with vegetation re-establishment being part of that plan) to present to the POA for approval. You're going to get strong opposition from non-anglers so you'll need to emphasize your containment and treatment strategies and how an attractive fishing lake can keep interest/value in the property up.

I also now would lean more towards white water lily and/or American pondweed in the enclosures. These both have floating leaves that can be treated fairly well with herbicides and they don't spread super fast. I'd suggest as an olive branch for the home owners that don't want plants in the lake period that your vegetation efforts stay in the northwest arm (north of Island rd) and that the growth won't be allowed to get dense enough to impede boat travel to the docks in that arm of the lake (that means being prepared to contract someone or treating plants yourself each summer if they start blocking off docks or getting out of that arm). I can see in the 2005 Google Earth image that arm got choked out hard in a drought year. For the rest of the lake, I'd recommend focusing on woody cover. Large limbs, trunks, root wads work better for bass than tight thin brush. Artificial cover (Mossbacks) are effective but they're really expensive on the scale you'll be dealing with. Invite the residents to drop off their used Christmas trees at the boat ramp each January and use them to reload productive spots.

The nurseries I've found that offer aquatic plants only have seedlings to fully mature plants. There may be a supplier of seeds but I have not come across one.


Scott Jones
Re: ideas on adding vegetation to lake [Re: Eric] #13838875 01/09/21 12:47 PM
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Eric Offline OP
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this is a picture of page that should show the clock icon. Maybe that header is just on my computer or under that header[Linked Image]

Last edited by Eric; 01/10/21 01:47 AM.
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