- Associated Press - Monday, December 15, 2014

HOMESTEAD, Fla. (AP) - South Florida’s water managers are releasing thousands of fish into canals to eat plants clogging those waterways.

The South Florida Water Management District will release about 24,400 grass carp into canals in Fort Lauderdale and Homestead this week.

Officials say the farm-raised carp are sterile and do not spawn. The fish eat hydrilla, an invasive plant that is clogging canals that the district needs clear for flood control.

According to the state wildlife commission, grass carp provide a low-cost, long-term, herbicide-free means of dealing with problem plants.

Hydrilla is a rapidly growing aquatic plant with no natural predators in Florida. The plants grow while submerged in the water and need less sunlight than native Florida aquatic plants. Large amounts of hydrilla can hinder boat navigation and alter fish populations.

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