Habitat enhancement is an important aspect of our aquatic plant management plan for South Carolina. Something as simple as keeping vegetation from becoming too thick around wood duck boxes, selective management of invasive species to allow natives to thrive again, and plantings of native species are viewed as habitat enhancement. Bald cypress and buttonbush can be seen growing in several areas of Lake Murray, Giant cutgrass has been removed in areas of the Santee Cooper Lakes to provide access to areas closed for years, and Phragmites and water hyacinth is being treated in coastal South Carolina to provide better waterfowl habitat.
The SCDNR-ANS Program strives to foster a diverse aquatic plant community through selective treatment of nuisance aquatic vegetation (to avoid adverse impacts to existing non-invasive plant species) and the introduction of desirable native plant species.
Waterfowl Enhancement in different areas of the
SCDNR & Santee Cooper
Water hyacinth/Water lettuce
Giant Cutgrass (since 1991)
Lake Murray Habitat Enhancement Project
Due to severe budget cuts specific projects have been placed on hold. We continue to participate with our Freshwater Fisheries Section providing manpower to distribute Christmas trees for the fish attractor sites. We are also open to partnerships with SCE&G and other private groups to coordinate and plant more areas in the future.
In the past the S.C. Department of Natural Resources and South Carolina Electric and Gas, along with local groups, have joined forces to establish native aquatic plants on designated shores of Lake Murray as part of a joint effort to reduce shoreline erosion and improve fish and waterfowl habitat.
This is an important part of our overall aquatic plant management effort on the lake. Some aquatic vegetation is good for the lake because it protects the shoreline from erosion and provides good fish and waterfowl habitat. Unfortunately, most people only hear about problematic invasive plants such as hydrilla.
Plantings to date:
Bald Cypress - 7,100
Button Bush - 7,300
Pondweed - 1,000 tubers
Vallisneria - 4,000 tubers
- River Birch - 300