Eno River Plagued By Invasive Plant

Sep 9, 2014

Hydrilla, an invasive plant found here in the Eno River, first came to the U.S. from Asia.
Credit Dave DeWitt

A state task force will begin work soon to try to control an invasive plant that threatens the Eno River. Hydrilla was first spotted in the southern U.S. in the 1960s.

Hydrilla came to this country from Asia and is especially concentrated on the eastern side of the Eno River State Park, where the water is wide and slow-moving.

The plants are visible just below the surface of the river, like a giant bright green blanket choking off sunlight to the river’s bottom. The plant is spreading at a rate of about a mile a year, and in twelve years could reach Falls Lake.

Hydrilla pushes out native plants and waterfowl, and increases mosquito infestation.

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources has formed a multi-agency task force to address the problem. They plan to begin work in early 2015. Possible courses of action include using chemicals, removing the plants by hand, or introducing carp that will eat the hydrilla.