Spartanburg Water continues natural approach to combat nuisance plant

May 7, 2019

Spartanburg Water, in conjunction with the SCDNR, is continuing a natural approach to control the growth of an invasive aquatic plant known as Bladderwort. This free-floating aquatic plant can attach to boat motors, affecting navigation and recreation. More importantly, it can potentially impact the long-term sustainability of our drinking water and treatment efforts. 

Despite its reputation as an invasive plant, Bladderwort is not harmful to the lake, its wildlife, or those who live on the lake. It helps filter pollutants and is an indicator of good water quality; however, this is an instance of too much of a good thing.

Bladderwort is nothing new to our lakes, and neither is the approach Spartanburg Water and the SCDNR are taking to stop its growth. In the late 1980s, Lake Bowen was one of the first lakes in South Carolina to introduce the use of Triploid Grass Carp to control invasive plants, and in more recent years, Spartanburg Water has successfully used this method to help control the growth of Bladderwort there.

On Tuesday, May 7, 2019, Spartanburg Water and the SCDNR will release 400 Triploid Grass Carp in Lake Bowen as maintenance stocking and an additional 1,750 fish in Municipal Reservoir #1 as an initial stocking, after first observing Bladderwort there in 2016.

Triploid Grass Carp feed on aquatic plants and are an effective biological tool to control nuisance vegetation and algae. These vegetarian fish are used around the world and are one of the approved methods used by the SCDNR.

Triploid Grass Carp will not disrupt the ecology of the water reservoirs or the aquatic life found there. They are a sterile species and therefore cannot reproduce. They feed primarily on plants and algae and do not consume other fish.

SCDNR-approved signs are now posted at public fishing areas and boat ramps as a reminder. For more information, click here.

Spartanburg Water also sent an alert to its stakeholders informing them of the Triploid Grass Carp stocking. You can sign up to receive lake alerts here.