Chattahoochee State Park introduced grass carp for better fishing, swimming

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HOUSTON COUNTY, Ala.-- A week ago, Chattahoochee State Park introduced 400 new fish in hopes of helping reduce grass and weed issues in the fishing waters.
Park manager Kimberly Taylor and state biologist Rob Andress says this is a better alternative to chemical treatments.

Taylor says:
"It's natural, it's safe and that's what they do…they eat the grass and that's what we want to get rid of."
Grass carp, a fish that can range anywhere from 7 inches or shorter for the smaller ones to 10-12 inches long for larger ones.
Taylor continues with:
"Once they get that big, they get lazy, they quit eating as much and the smaller ones eat constantly."

Park manager Kimberly Taylor says visitors to the Chattahoochee State Park in Gordon may mistake the fish for a shark but should not be alarmed adding they are environmentally-friendly...

Rob Andress says:
"If you've already got fish in the pond that you are putting them in, it's a great idea to get the larger size because they are cigar shaped and they are perfect bass for it."
For the next 4 or 5 years the carp will continue to eat at the vegetation in the pond.
"It’s a great alternative because the carp are actually working for you opposed to you having to get out and put a treatment out or a herbicide treatment and multiple applications…"

3 types of grasses are contributing to the overall weed problem and that's why early action is being taken.
Taylor finishes with:
"If it got too much you wouldn't be able to fish in it your lines and all would get caught up and you just could not fish in it when it's that and you can't swim in it whenever it's real thick it's just miserable to swim in."

The pond is 23 acres and is designed for fishing, swimming, and canoeing.
Taylor encourages people to continue to come and enjoy the beauty of the park and hopes to see a reduction in the weed problem in coming months.

Once the pond is stocked with carp, they will eat at the grass right away.
It could take up to a few months to see a big difference.

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