Westhampton Lake, located at the University of Richmond in Virginia is a man made lake that feeds into the James river. The lake itself suffers from pollution and above average nutrient loads from external sources. There have been efforts to try to reduce some pollution from the lake but this research proposes and explores the viability of introducing species into the lake for the same purpose. Two types of animals proposed for introduction into the lake are common carp (Cyprinus carpio) and freshwater mussels (Bivalvia: Unionidae). Sterilized common carp are proposed as a short term solution to removal of invasive plant species (can not reproduce and would need to be replenished) because of their foraging ecology to eat undesirable plant species. Freshwater mussels have the potential to filter through e.coli and nutrients that are in excess in the lake. Freshwater mussels are also suffering from dwindling populations and so reintroducing them into the Westhampton lake would be overall beneficial to their survival in Virginia. Research into the nutrient levels of the lake proved that Westhampton Lake has nutrient levels in the range of what mussels could survive in. Common carp, however, would have too many risks associated with their introduction to be recommended. Common carp forage in a way that breaks up soil and could release nutrients into the water and would also likely favor eating native rooted plants as opposed to the invasive duckweed we would be seeking for them to target. Therefore, it is proposed that there be a trial introduction of mussels in enclosed cages in the lake so their health and growth could be monitored before introducing a larger population. Common carp as a means of invasive plant species management should not be pursued.
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Grage, Kathryn. "Feasibility of Introduced Species into the Westhampton Lake for Pollution Control."Paper for Environmental Studies Senior Seminar/Geography Capstone, University of Richmond, April 2022.