Invasive carp removal will help Mattamuskeet water quality

Published 5:03 pm Tuesday, November 26, 2019

In the 1950’s, invasive common carp were first identified as a problem species in Lake Mattamuskeet. At that time the turbid (murky) conditions prevailed in the lake and were similar to present day. This led to a massive carp removal project. Following the successful carp removal there was a significant improvement in the water clarity. This increased sunlight penetration in the shallower parts of the lake. Aquatic grasses returned to an estimated 16,000 acres in the shallower portion of the lake bed. Today, the combination of reducing the input of nutrients and sediments entering the lake and removing at least 75% of the carp will significantly improve water quality and clarity. It will provide conditions to restore aquatic grasses in the lake. These grasses are an important food source for waterfowl and other animals.