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Aquatic Plant Management

Aquatic Plant Management

A key aspect of being a good environmental steward is monitoring and managing our rivers and lakes for aquatic plants and wildlife. Invasive species threaten the well-being of these systems by impeding recreation, impacting navigation, and/or clogging water intake and control structures.

Aquatic Plants in our Reservoirs

Many invasive aquatic plants have the potential to invade Duke Energy’s lakes and rivers. Typically, these plants were introduced to the United States for use in aquariums and water gardens, and have since spread across the country and into our lakes over time. With no natural controls in the environment, they rapidly spread and can quickly begin to impact our aquatic ecosystems. Invasive aquatic plants can quickly take over, leaving little room for swimming, fishing and boating, which poses severe risk to intakes used for drinking water and power production. 

Duke Energy’s Aquatic Plant Management Program extensively surveys these lakes during the summer months when the plants typically emerge. When deemed necessary, biological controls, such as stocking triploid grass carp, may be employed to combat newly discovered populations of invasive plants, like hydrilla. In some instances, EPA-approved aquatic herbicides are needed to combat these troublesome invaders. Lowering lake levels during the winter can also be an effective way to control some invasive species of aquatic vegetation. Keep a lookout for our survey crews on your lake. The most recent Catawba-Wateree Aquatic Plant Survey is available now.

Help Prevent the Spread of Invasive Aquatic Plants

Invasive aquatic plants can easily spread from lake to lake on boats, boat trailers or by individuals dumping unwanted aquatic plants into the lake.

Here are a few tips to help keep aquatic invaders out of local water bodies:

  1. Clean: Inspect your gear before entering the lake for aquatic plants and before you leave. Don’t let aquatic plants hitchhike!
  2. Drain and Dry: Be sure to drain the motor, bilge and any other areas that may harbor aquatic plants.
  3. Dispose: Do not dump unwanted aquarium or water garden plants into the lake. Throw them away. Anglers should also take care to dispose of unwanted, bait, worms and fish parts into the trash.
  4. Report any suspicious looking aquatic plants growing in local lakes to the Aquatic Plant Management Program Team.

It’s a Group Effort

Duke Energy’s Aquatic Plant Management program partners with multiple groups across the Carolinas to protect our waterways. We work with North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality (NCDEQ), North Carolina State Parks, North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission (NCWRC), North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (NCDA&CS), South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR), as well as universities including North Carolina State University and Clemson University.
Stop aquatic hitchikers

Contact Us

If you have questions or concerns regarding aquatic plants in Duke Energy Reservoirs or would like to report a suspected sighting, please contact our Aquatic Plant Management Program at