1500 carp stocked in Bear Lake December 2009 are not up to much until the water temperature gets above 68 degrees. The temperature has been between 52 and 63 degrees since December. The good news is even though the fish are not eating a lot right now due to the cold, the hydrilla is not growing either. The carp can tolerate the colder temperatures.

The nuisance eelgrass has been breaking off from the high winds and waves and residents are experiencing endless piles floating to the shorelines. This is the second time Bear Lake has had an extreme weed problem. The first was in 1978 when it was choked with hydrilla. The carp did the job in three years. The lake was weed free for 27 years! With the slow disappearance of the first batch of carp introduced in 1980, eelgrass started growing in June of 2007 followed by hydrilla in July of 2008.

In the next two to three years, winds and boating will continue to snap off the eelgrass. Residents are asked to continue to rake it out as it is full of nutrients, like fertilizer, and will contribute to greening the water when it decomposes.

The carp will pick up with stronger eating habits this summer, eating the hydrilla and southern naiad first. The carp will likely double their size by the end of the year.

An update from the University of Florida LAKEWATCH program and the BLPA.