The Lake Guntersville Stakeholders Group recently held their annual meeting to review the activities of the group and the Aquatic Plant Management plan. According to a report from Brett Hartiss, Ph.D., the Program Manager for aquatic plant management on the Guntersville Reservoir, there were 1,120 acres chemically treated in 2017. Some of that acreage received multiple treatments.An additional 117 acres were managed with the use of a harvester.
TVA officials told the group that Hydrilla, Milfoil and Eelgrass are the primary subject of management efforts. Survey crews estimate there are some 20,000 acres of vegetation, so the portion that was treated last year equates to approximately 5% of the total vegetation.
2017 was the first year of scheduled cutbacks in funding for the program at Guntersville. This summer will see an additional reduction in funding. Judy Miller, Chairperson of the Stakeholder Group said, “No residential or commercial area that falls under the provisions of the stakeholder management plan is expected to be left out.The plan is to focus efforts particularly on high use weekends and space the treatments a little farther apart,” she said. “TVA will also continue full funding to manage developed, public access areas (public boat ramps, swim beaches, etc.”
Elected officials and stakeholders have been working intensely for several months to address the eventual funding gap in order to sustain the program that has been successful in balancing user needs.
Seasonal herbicide treatments will commence the week of May 29th.The schedule will continue to be available on the group’s website at www.lakeguntersvillestakeholders.org and local newspapers in Marshall and Jackson counties.
A map of locations scheduled for treatment each week can also be found at www.tva.com/aquaticplants under “Aquatic Weed Treatment Schedules.”