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Residents push carp-protection law

The Lake Norman Marine Commission will hold a public hearing Sept. 20 at 6:30 p.m. on a proposed ordinance making it illegal to catch or possess sterile grass carp, the large minnows from eastern Asia, which are in Lake Norman.
The meeting will be held at the Mooresville Municipal Building, 413 North Main Street.
The ordinance which will likely be called, “The Lake Norman Grass Carp Regulation,” is in interim step until the state law with the NC Wildlife Resource Commission takes effect.
“We want to remind people that it’s illegal to fish for them,” said Bob Elliott, Chairman of the Hydrilla Committee. “The carp cost a lot and they are in there for another reason.”
Elliott has been involved with the Hydrilla committee since last spring, when the Marine Commission saw that hydrilla, an aquatic weed which can have negative effects on the lake was becoming a problem.
There are currently 6,000 carp that are now in the lake helping to combat the hydrilla.
At the next meeting, Elliott said they hope to have the ordinance prepared.
“We will make a copy of a draft then hopefully pass it,” Elliott said. “We also hope to put out a pamphlet about it to hand out at marinas and educate people.”
As the carp get larger, Elliott said they are more at risk for being caught.
“I am sure people have already caught them,” he said. “There are about 6,000 out there and people may not know what they have caught, this is the problem.”
An Adopt-A-Carp proposal will also be presented by Matt Myers who is President at Bedford Falls Graphics, Inc. in Statesville.
The program is a branch of the Lake Norman Air and Water Quality committee.
“We hope to raise awareness of the hydrilla program and raise money to buy fish,” Myers said.
The program will be presented to the school and children can adopt a carp in order to help raise money.
“Children can adopt a carp and name it,” Myers said. “The class that raises the most money gets a prize.”
By bringing the idea to the Marine Commission, Myers hopes to find volunteers and raise awareness.
He hopes to start the program by next spring. by Amy Wadsworth

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