MAHOPAC – Seven hundred triploid carp will soon be calling Lake Mahopac home now that the State Department of Environmental Conservation has issued the Town of Carmel a permit to stock the sterile fish that eat their weight in vegetation each day.
Carp will be used to ease the algae blooms and vegetation growth that is choking the lake which serves as a recreational area for residents of greater Mahopac each summer.
The town and Lake Mahopac Park District had requested a permit to deposit 1,750 carp into the lake but Supervisor Kenneth Schmitt said “700 of the big fish were better than nothing.” Carmel’s chief elected official commended State Senator Peter Harckham and Assemblyman Kevin Byrne for their assistance in the permitting process.
A fish farm from Arkansas will be providing the fish at a cost of $7.36 per carp after winning the bid of $5,150.
Carp are not new to Lake Mahopac. During the past year the carp’s daily diet had become insufficient to keep the weed growth in check and Carmel town officials asked the DEC for permission to add additional carp to the lake. In 2016 the DEC authorized the municipality to add 200 carp but Schmitt noted “That number was not nearly enough.”
The town last summer conducted a biomass study which Schmitt said consisted of a drone, equipped with a camera, flying over the lake measuring the extent of the weed problems. “Information was recovered and was forwarded to the DEC in the hopes that the agency would grant the town approval to add additional fish.”
He said in 1996, carp were placed in Lake Mahopac and in 2010 and 2011, carp were deposited in Lake McGregor and Lake Casse, both reaping great benefits.
The average size of a triploid carp is between 35 and 40 pounds.
Ed Barnett, chairman of the Lake Mahopac Park District, said adding the proper number of fish was critical to the lake’s ecosystem.