MOSES LAKE - Officials with the Grant County Conservation District (GCCD) say the fish nets will be out in hopes of capturing up to 1,500 pounds of fish this week.
The catch won’t be converted to cash, but will be used to study the lake’s invasive carp population. Researchers with the conservation district say carp are the key contributors to toxic algae blooms on the lake and it’s critical that they be studied and removed to curtail bloom activity. The Moses Lake Watershed Council and GCCD reports that Moses Lake retains a large amount of phosphorus within the sediments along the lake bottom, which is one of the main components needed by blue-green algae to grow.
The presence of such a large quantity of phosphorus means that when the sediment is disturbed, phosphorus is released and is absorbed by blue-green algae. Carp are known to disturb lake bottoms and are therefore a catalyst in contributing to the blooms. The fishing of the carp will take place over the course of three days sometime between May 4 and May 10.
After the carp are harvested, they will be studied in terms of how they directly affect the phosphorus cycle within the lake. The netting will also provide a more accurate age model and sex distribution that can be applied to assist in the management of the lake in the future. Officials believe there are over 250,000 carp in Moses Lake.
The caught carp will eventually be taken to a landfill were they will be disposed of.