Monday, August 13, 2012
Arizona's White Amurs Vital to Keep Urban Lakes Clean
This is the busiest time of year for white amurs to graze on nuisance aquatic plants at Urban Fishing Program waters. Plants are abundant and growing fast at a few of the lakes.
White amur, or grass carp, are like "aquatic cows" feeding on plant growth across the bottoms of these lakes. Vegetarians by nature, the white amur can feed on 1 to 2 pounds of weed material a day. They are a vital biological tool to browse on plant growth and help clean up our lakes and keep them fishable. Cities spend thousands of dollars a year to buy the sterile amur and put them out to "pasture" in the lakes.
The white amur can live up to 10 years and reach weights over 40 pounds. In their lifetime they can consume over a ton of weeds. This biological weed control is a better environmental alternative than the use of expensive weed control chemicals, which require certified applicators and repeated treatments every year.
While the amur prefer plants, they will occasionally bite on worms, corn, bread and even lures. Legally, white amur must be at least 30 inches long to keep when fishing the urban waters. Anglers are reminded that amur are in the lakes to help clean up your fishing waters. Please release them unharmed so they can go about their "lawn mowing" business.