College of Arts and Sciences
Primary Subject Area
Agriculture, Fisheries and Aquaculture
Comparison of fish communities, biological and chemical plant control
The Opossum Creek / Camp Hydaway Lake system is a valuable asset to the Biology Department at Liberty University. This study addresses two different aspects of this system, namely the aquatic plants of Camp Hydaway Lake and the fishes of both the lake and Opossum Creek. The plants in the lake, primarily Potamogeton foliosus, were a problem due to their high density and were treated both by grass carp and an aquatic herbicide, diquat. The grass carp did not control the plants adequately, but following the introduction of diquat, the plants were eliminated along one transect and decreased significantly along another (P<0.01). The presence of Camp Hydaway Lake has resulted in a significant change in the fish community of Opossum Creek directly downstream of the lake when compared by family composition with samples taken about 2 km downstream from the dam (P<0.01). These differences in the fish communities of the two creek sites were apparently due to the emigration of still water species from the reservoir which were replaced by species more common to streams at a further distance from Camp Hydaway Lake. The data collected in this study may be valuable in the future in consideration of possible development and continuing recreational use in this area.