(April 17, 2014 - Guntersville, AL) A newly organized stakeholder group, consisting of local anglers, state and local environmentalists, elected officials, homeowners and representatives from the commercial and economic development and tourism communities, met last week and unanimously approved a limited, balanced management plan for aquatic plants on the Guntersville Reservoir.
From 1998 through 2008 TVA implemented a Long-term Management Plan that was adopted using the Stakeholder approach. It was very successful and widely proclaimed by fishing groups and citizens alike as the best plan in the nation for managing invasive plants. That plan was re-adopted, with only minor adjustments made to take into account newly developed areas in the last five years.
The meeting was well attended by more than thirty people representing various user groups The plan authorized by the group provides for TVA to manage aquatic plants in developed public, residential and commercial areas. Currently there are an estimated 19,000 acres of aquatic plants although a little under 1,300 acres is the maximum ever treated during the previous decade-long management program.
As in the past, aquatic plant populations will be controlled by two methods: mechanical harvester and herbicides. Mechanical harvesters will be used to open boat access lanes and to clear small areas near drinking water intakes and around some public ramps. Herbicides will be used as needed in near-shore areas along developed shorelines to provide access to open water areas. The herbicides that will be used have been approved by EPA for use in the aquatic environment and will be applied by a certified contractor selected by TVA.
Schedules will be posted in local media and other outlets in advance of herbicide treatments. Notices will also include a summary of the areas treated during the previous week. The program will commence in early June.