The Bard Water District is using 300 weed-eating carp to clean canals that are getting heavy with weeds.
"If we can't keep this canal clean, we can't deliver water to our customers," Bard Water District manager Ron Derma said.
The weeds act like a giant sponge and can cause ditch breaks and clogs in canals, Derma said.
Releasing the carp now can help during the hot summer months when the weeds grow the fastest, he said.
U.S. Bureau of Reclamation engineer Frank Macaluso Jr. compared the carp to goats on a farm eating stubble.
Derma said this is the first time the carp have been released into Bard's canals. The water district is hoping the fish will solve problems that occur when canals are manually cleaned.
The canals are cleaned five or six times a year using a drag chain like a giant net to pull out the weeds. Dragging interrupts the water supply and costs $5,000 for each cleaning, he said.