Summer means sun and fun on Lake Guntersville. Alongside the growing anticipation for summer vacation, aquatic plants are starting to make an appearance on Lake Guntersville as well. To ensure water weeds don’t affect access at developed public recreation areas, the Tennessee Valley Authority’s aquatic plant management teams are already out on the water surveying specific areas of Guntersville Reservoir.
“We want to make sure that public ramps, swim beaches, and other access areas stay open for use this summer,” said Dr. Brett Hartis of TVA at a recent meeting of the Lake Guntersville Stakeholder Board on May 14th.“We will continue to implement the Lake Guntersville Stakeholder Group management plan along commercial and residential developed shoreline as well as TVA’s management of public, developed shorelines during the week of May 29th through June 1st,” says Hartis.
According to Hartis, TVA continues to strategically manage aquatic plants on Guntersville and other reservoirs to balance user needs. “Our goal is to balance stakeholder needs by managing aquatic plants in areas where they interfere with access, while also preserving the benefits that plants provide such as habitat for fish and wildlife.”
Guntersville is one of the nation’s best bass fisheries and there is a lot of pressure on Hartis to balance the needs of fisherman and recreation alike. A 2017 University of Tennessee study estimates that recreation on the Tennessee River generates 130,000 jobs and the value of the Tennessee River reservoir system for the region is nearly $12 billion. TVA’s Guntersville Reservoir estimated value is over $964 million.
“People from all over the country come to fish and boat on Guntersville making it worth about $1 million on average per shoreline mile,” says Hartis. “We want to manage aquatic plants to balance the revenue and jobs the river brings to Guntersville’s communities.”
TVA survey crews are out weekly to identify and prioritize areas in need of management. You can identify TVA crews and contractors by looking for the TVA plant survey and contractor signage.
Depending on weather conditions, aquatic plant management will commence during the week of May 29 through June 1.Weekly schedules and a map of areas to be treated each week can also be found at tva.com/aquaticplants under “Aquatic Weed Treatment Schedules” for each reservoir.