BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - More than 500 grass-eating carp were released into a Louisiana lake on Thursday to help gobble up vegetation taking over the water, Baton Rouge parks and recreation officials said.
The combination of a warmer winter and an excess of nutrients from runoff has allowed vegetation to flourish in the 60-acre (24-hectare) City Park Lake, The Advocate reported. The fish released Thursday cost around $5.50 each and were driven down from a fishery in Arkansas to munch on the vegetation below the surface. But it will still take at least six months for the bottom-feeding carp to begin making a visible dent in the overgrowth, officials said.
The goal is to have the fish make progress before the summer heat kicks in, Baton Rouge parks and recreation spokeswoman Cheryl Michelet said.
In a longer-term effort, the city secured $50 million in November to begin dredging six long-neglected lakes in late 2020.