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Over six tons of carp removed from Moses Lake

Staff Writer | June 4, 2020 7:40 AM

MOSES LAKE — At the beginning of May, Grant County Conservation District and Moses Lake Watershed Council teamed up to address the problem of blue-green algae in Moses Lake.

The pair of organizations received a grant from the Washington Department of Ecology and enlisted a commercial netter from the Tri-Cities to remove carp from the lake.

The project ran May 6-10. Nets were placed at locations near Connelly Park “in an effort to test the viability of physical removal of common carp from the waterway,” the conservation district wrote in an email.

According to the conservation district, a large number of common carp are present in Moses Lake and they disrupt the lake’s bottom, which causes phosphorus — one of the key components needed by blue-green algae to propagate — within the sediment to be made available to the algae.

The conservation district said in an email that, although the netting was limited, it proved to be successful and beneficial to lake management.

The netting removed over 1,000 carp — 13,000 pounds, or six and a half tons, of fish — and resulted in roughly 72 pounds of phosphorus directly related to the carp biomass leaving the lake, according to the conservation district.

The conservation district wrote that “carp removal, though beneficial, will not solve the nutrient issues occurring in Moses Lake. There will be no single solution to fixing Moses Lake water quality issues; however, piecing together all nutrient sources entering the lake is a necessary process in developing a comprehensive watershed and management plan for Moses lake.”

The conservation district added that improving water quality not only requires help from the Watershed Council but the community as a whole.

Fishermen can also help remove carp by participating in the fourth annual Sportsman’s Warehouse Carp Derby, in progress now and lasting until July 24.