Invasive plant species found in Coventry - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Invasive plant species found in Coventry

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aquatic plant known as Hydrilla was found in Coventry Lake. (WFSB) aquatic plant known as Hydrilla was found in Coventry Lake. (WFSB)
COVENTRY, CT (WFSB) -

Experts are taking action after an extremely invasive plant species was recently located in a public body of water in Coventry.

The aquatic plant, known as Hydrilla, was discovered last week in Coventry Lake by a biology class from the University of Connecticut.

"It also is a call to action. We know we've got to do something,” DEEP Natural Resources Bureau Chief Bill Hyatt said.

The Department of Energy and Environmental Protection said Hydrilla is native to Asia and was first seen in the southeastern part of the country back in the 1950s. Experts say it has slowly moved north. 

"Whenever an invasive species comes in, just takes over because there's no natural controls on it,” Hyatt said. “It totally disrupts the natural system."

DEEP officials told Eyewitness News they are already taking action to make sure it doesn't spread to other bodies of water in the state.

“A lake and a water body that's choked with Hydrilla is just not easy to boat in. It's not easy to swim in,” Hyatt said. “It reduces property values around the lake."

DEEP has already increased the number of inspectors at the boat launch to take a look at boats and trailers leaving the lake.

“We want to take action before now and the end of October,” Hyatt said. “That's sort of our window to be able to take action this year while the plants are still alive and growing."

DEEP officials are asking people who boat in the lake, to make sure they clean, drain and dry their boats before leaving to help minimize the spread of the plant. 

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