Plant literally taking over Swift Creek Reservoir

By Melissa Correa - bio | email
Posted by Terry Alexander - email

CHESTERFIELD, VA (WWBT) - A quick glance at the Swift Creek Reservoir and you know something's in the water. A closer look reveals the newest neighbor: hydrilla.

"And it grows an inch or more a day, so it can spread quite rapidly," said Tom Hoekstra a water-front resident.

County experts say it's most visible on the north side, but south side resident Tom Hoekstra has spotted it in his neck of the woods.

"And we're worried that it's going to impact the water quality in the lake," said Tom.

25% of Chesterfield residents get their water from here, so the county is working to get the plant problem under control. Right now chemicals are out of the question.

"You can also treat it using mechanical means where you rake it out, but that's a temporary fix.  Today I just learned about a fish, a grass carp it's called, that can be used to eat the Hydrilla," Tom said.

"It gets caught up in the rudder quite often, that's the biggest irritant to me," said boater John Durniak.

Durniak wishes the hydrilla would just sail off into the sunset.

"So a lot of times what I have to do is lean over and clear it, so you just try to avoid it. I do some racing out there also- it really slows the boat down tremendously," he said.

The floating green mat is also tangling up fishing lines.

"Well it's clearly an eyesore. It clearly impacts boating, impacts fishing, potentially impacts water quality, so it's an important thing," Tom said.

(c) 2009. WWBT, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.