UPDATE: Carp dumped in Swift Creek Reservoir to battle hydrilla

Published: Apr. 26, 2010 at 11:09 AM EDT|Updated: Apr. 26, 2010 at 10:45 PM EDT
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CHESTERFIELD, VA (WWBT) – The days are numbered for a nuisance in the Swift Creek Reservoir. Right now, thousands of fish are nibbling away at a plant that's caused Chesterfield residents and boaters months of headaches.
On the surface the Swift Creek Reservoir is calm, but under water an attack is underway.  Thousands of fish, dumped in today, are chomping away at hydrilla- a plant that for months has proven to be quite a nuisance.
As they soar into Swift Creek there's no sign of super hero capes. In fact some are uneasy about the uncharted territory. But these fish, Carp trucked in from Arkansas, are here to save the day.
"Today we're receiving the delivery of 10,500 Tripold Grass Carp," said Roy Covington with Chesterfield County. "They're about 12 inches at this point, and they can grow as much at 40 pounds."
The sterile Carp, which will live for about 15 years, come hungry for hydrilla- the arch nemesis of waterfront residents.
"Hard to get through the water. The beauty, the clearness of the water isn't the same," said Lynn Anderson.
For the last several months Anderson's watched hydrilla blanket about half of the 1700 acre reservoir. Boats get tangled in the vine-like plant that also keeps swimmers at bay.
"We hope they are very hungry," Anderson said.
"Obviously we need to do this to take care of the hydrilla as well as making sure that we're doing things for the environment, protecting the drinking water for the citizens," said Matoaca district supervisor Marlene Durfee.
The long-term fix will only work if fishermen stay away.
"These Carp are not to be taken from the reservoir. They are here to serve a purpose," said Covington.
And while that purpose is important, it's not every day you see thousands of fish come shooting out- sometimes fins first.
The county will monitor the Carps' progress over the next several years. A harvester may be brought in to pull up any hydrilla that remains.

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