Stakeholders and TVA finding balance in fight against water weeds

SCOTTSBORO, Ala. (WHNT)-  There are two main invasive weeds in Lake Guntersville, hydrilla and milfoil.  Neither plants are native to the lake.  In fact it’s believed that milfoil entered the Tennessee River system by someone dumping a home aquarium in the Watts Bar Lake, upriver from Lake Guntersville.

“It’s very, very important for us to have a balance,” said Rick Roden.  Roden is the president of the Jackson County Chamber of Commerce.  He also part of the Lake Guntersville Stakeholders.  They are a group of people with a vested interest in the lake, from boaters, to fishermen, to homeowners.

“We want to manage the weeds,” said Roden.  “We certainly understand the importance of them for the bass industry.  But you also have to manage them to where everybody can enjoy the lake.”

Wednesday afternoon TVA allowed the news media to see how the weeds are managed.  The actual spraying of herbicides to fight the weeds is contracted out to a Guntersville company called Aqua Services.

“There are certain parameters that have been defined by the stakeholder plan,” said Aqua Services owner Terry Goldsby.   “TVA, using those parameters, they have a scouting boat and they go out and look at those various areas all over the lake.  And then we accomplish the treatments.”

TVA also uses harvesters to clear channels through areas of heavy hydrilla infestation so boats have clear paths to get to the main river channel.  It’s a chore that’s never ending.

“The aquatic plants, just like when we use a herbicide, they will potentially start growing within about five or six weeks,” said David Brewster in TVA natural resources division.  “So this is a continuous mowing operation that we have to do on the Tennessee River here in Guntersville.”

2 comments

  • Nuclear Mike

    For those who have not already observed the effects this weed spraying has had on fishing in Brown’s Creek need to go see the change in water quality and the fact that the fish moved out of the milfoil…as in totally it appears!!!

  • z

    Yeah but I’ll bet the folks in the Brown’s Creek area who own jet skis and boats are happy the weeds are being managed. They are the ones who live there and paid a lot of money to live on the waterfront. They should be able to enjoy the water without having to chop their way out of their bouthouses or clean their props and intakes every time they hit a patch of hydrilla. As for the fishermen, troll on down a hundred yards or so and I’ll bet you’ll find those fish. Nuclear Mikey, you’re just plain ignorant when it comes to some topics of discussion.

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