Effects of Aquatic Vegetation Removal on the Trophy Bass Fishery of Caney Creek Reservoir

After efforts to eradicate hydrilla (Hydrilla verticillata) with herbicide applications proved to be unsuccessful in Caney Creek Reservoir, triploid grass carp (Ctenopharyngodon idella) were introduced in an effort to control the expansion of the exotic, while leaving total aquatic plant coverage at a beneficial level of 15%—30%. After 2 years, the aquatic vegetation population that had been dominated by submerged species was composed primarily of emerged species. Aquatic vegetation coverage was reduced to < 15% for the remainder of the study. Releative abundance of largemouth bass (Micropterus salmoides) and number of angler efforts were directly proportional with the reduction in aquatic vegetation coverage. Angler success was slightly increased. Water quality parameters and nutrient levels were not appreciably changed.

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