T.U.F.F. Club

Sanford, NC 27332

Lake Trace Hotline


July 16 Discussion with CTA and TUFF Fishermen

by Miss Libby

Posted on Tue Sep 28 2021

Thanks to CTA for hearing our concerns and input about the hydrilla in Lake Trace. I support that the CTA POAs voted against an additional assessment in the 2021-2022 budget for lake management issues until the minimal carp introduction of 150 carp can be monitored and evaluated. The following report is from the July 16 meeting... and is probably more than what you ever care to know about carp and its introduction into a fishery. !Libby

Hi Guys,


Clink on the link for interesting reading about sterile grass carp controlling aquatic plants and especially their effects of flocculation in paragraph four. It also contains information about barriers.  (Note: Barriers would keep the carp contained so they do not go over the dam and destroy downstream ecosystems.) Thank you Buster for finding this link and info on the cost of building a “spider” fish attractor.  But didn't the fish attractor you made have a lot more tubing on it which would make it better for hiding fry, instead of just hiding larger fish like the "spider" attractor? The spider seemed awfully expensive


After speaking with Ernie yesterday, here is an update:

  • NC Extension experts have said that introducing only 150 carp up the cove should be an effective way to control the current amount of hydrilla;  
  • This small number of carp does not require a permit from the State or barriers;
  • The situation will be closely monitored for months by Ernie/volunteers and officials to see how it's working;
  • A small number of carp may be added again to keep hydrilla managed but not erased completely since it's good for the fishery;
  • Ernie's approach will be a slow and steady one with future solutions considered only after all the facts are verified, discussed and agreed upon;
  • The carp will be arriving by fish truck @ 9 a.m. tomorrow. Ernie will hopefullylet us know the location where that will be;
  • He is aware of the process of acclimating fish to different water temperatures; 
  • The carp are from outside ponds in NC, are used to this heat and will only be transported on Rt.421 for 45 miles.


Ernie and other fishermen explained to me that using Weed Razors or mower boats (an option rather than carp or herbicides) could actually spread the hydrilla unless the plant is hauled away and disposed of properly. (labor intensive and $$$)


He understands that sterile grass carp remain sterile in a pond situation, but moving water in a river system is their natural habitat and they may reproduce. Since Lake Trace is in the Cape Fear river system, there could well be lots of fertile grass carp coming in here and flocculating all over the place (muddying the water, causing algae blooms, ruining spawning beds along the banks) but it's probably rare and can't be controlled.


He also hoped that anyone who may snag or catch a grass carp during the months ahead to please release it.



Main concerns: 

  1. the integrity of the dam which is on a “highly hazardous” NC “watch list”;
  2. the growing population of cormorants eating all the shad. Last research said they were protected by NC unless you are involved in aquaculture (fish farming);


Other stuff.

Dredging silt is extremely expensive. Stirring up the bottom muck releases toxins that can lead to adverse conditions in our eco-system. Plus the sediment must dry out and be taken via truck to a special landfill that will accept it. Visiting professors from NC State were invited to inspect Lake Trace and make recommendations for erosion control, dredging and silt removal. Their advice was not to dredge because of environmental effects;


An excellent observation by a former professional fisherman who lives on the lake (and is very encouraged to see hydrilla) noted that if we have hydrilla we won’t have to build fish structure.

Leave a Comment:

Posted Comments


$15 per year