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LGA Weed Committee Meeting Minutes:  November 21, 2007


Members present were Vernon Wilson, John Slaton, Bruce Johnson and Pete Deschenes. One final review was made of the Proposed Plan that incorporated the changes provided by Bill Lindenmuth and approved by the full LGA Board. Also reviewed was the proposed transmittal letter to Dr. Brown, LGWCC; Dr. Richardson, TAG; and Pete Deschenes, LGSB. Both documents will be forwarded to the Ex. Dir. of the LGA for distribution.


Additional discussions focused on the future activity of the Committee. The consensus was that the Weed Committee & the Environment Committee should combine their resource and membership and become one committee. We will renew these discussions with the Chair of the Environment Committee.


It was agreed that the Weed Committee should get on the agenda for the next meeting of the LGSB & the TAG to formally present the Proposed Plan. John Slaton & Bruce Johnson will work on updating the backup documentation. It was agreed that as President of the LGA, John Cataldo should make these presentations. Since John was not in attendance, there were no objections to this proposal.


Being no other business, the meeting was adjourned.



LGA Aquatic Weed Committee Meeting - Wednesday, October 17, 2007


The primary focus was to discuss the revision of the Lake Gaston Association’s Recommended Lake Gaston Management Plan. It was approved by the Committee and we recommend that the full Board vote to approve it at our next monthly meeting on November 7.


     We would propose that a "friendly" cover letter be sent with this Plan to the LGSB, the LGWCC and the TAG. I'll be glad to draft the letter after the Plan is approved by the full Board. We recommend that the letter go out over your signature.


     If you agree with this process, please have Moira forward the attachment to all Board members so they have an opportunity to review it prior to our next monthly meeting.


Pete Deschenes


LGA Plan 2007

 Lake Gaston Association

Recommended Lake Gaston Management Plan


Lake Gaston is heavily utilized not only by lakeside property owners, but by anglers, boaters, and other visitors.  Vegetation management activities have the potential to significantly affect (1) access to outdoor activities such as swimming, boating, skiing, and angling, (2) property values in and around the lake, (3) local businesses, (4) the county tax base, (5) water quality, (6) the environmental health of the system, and (7) tourism.


Hydrilla is a highly invasive aquatic weed, able to propagate by fragmentation, and through tuber and turion production.  The Lake Gaston Association (LGA) recommends the use of triploid grass carp as the primary effort to control and/or eradicate the federally listed noxious aquatic weed hydrilla in Lake Gaston.  Herbicide treatments will be used to supplement grass carp based on available funding.


The vegetated acreage of hydrilla in Lake Gaston has fluctuated annually, but has remained around 3,500 acres.  Previously treated areas with herbicides have never been hydrilla free and therefore the infested acreage is likely to be greater than 8,000 acres since hydrilla has been observed growing at a depth of 20 feet.  “Since 2000, hydrilla has colonized waters as deep as 15 feet, which would include 40% of the lake or a potential total acreage of 8,120 acres (John Madsen’s assessment for 2004, 2005, and 2006).  There has not been a lake infested with hydrilla which has successfully controlled hydrilla with herbicides alone.  Herbicides are expensive.  They are potentially dangerous, and therefore must be applied by a licensed applicator in accordance with the label.


          Therefore, the LGA recommends stocking grass carp at a rate of 15 fish per vegetated acre of hydrilla, based on the Fall Total Lake Survey plus that acreage privately treated with contact herbicide.  That the grass carp are a minimum of 12 inches in length and be widely distributed in several coves from bridges which would facilitate off loading.  That future stockings be based on a total of 15 fish per vegetated acre until hydrilla is controlled without the excessive use of herbicides.  The stocking rate should then be reduced 5 fish per vegetated acreage and released in the area where hydrilla is prevalent.


     Herbicide treatment using public money will consist of only systemic herbicide treatments on hydrilla in coves where success of reducing the tuber count is achievable.  It is recommended that multiple year treatments be applied to these coves in order to eliminate tuber count.   Contact herbicide and algaecides using public money would be limited to public boat ramps, dry fire hydrants, and other invasive vegetation (IE Eurasian watermilfoil, Brazilian elodea, Lyngbya, etc).  Since Eurasian watermilfoil is not the preferred food of grass carp, aggressive treatment of these areas with contact herbicide is recommended. 


Definitions used in this plan:

Vegetated:  The biomass of plants.

Infested:     The area where there are known tubers which equates to hydrilla.

Acre:           Unit of land measure equal to 43,560 sq ft (about an area 208 ft x 208 ft).

Fall survey: The vegetated acreage of all aquatic plants in Lake Gaston

Aquatic Weed Committee Meeting September, 2007

            During the past three months the Committee has set its priorities and acted on a number of issues. The LGA Plan for noxious weed management ( info on the LGA Website ) has been reviewed and revisited based on additional information gathered during 2007. Major input came from reports presented at the South Carolina Aquatic Plant Management Society ( SCAPMS ) annual meeting and current data being generated by Virginia Tech’s grass carp tagging & tracking study.

            The Committee agreed to update and reissue the Plan. The updated Plan will be available by the first of October. It will then be presented for consideration to the Lake Gaston Weed Control Council; Lake Gaston Stakeholders Board and the Technical Advisory Group. The updated Plan will continue to emphasize the utilization of additional grass carp to a stocking level of 15 grass carp per vegetated areas and the consideration of considering this biological tool as the primary tool in the management of hydrilla.

            We recognize and appreciate the work of the LGWCC Public Affairs Committee. We will continue to support their efforts to more effectively communicate with the Lake property owners. Also, we will continue to coordinate our responses to specific inquiries from LGA members.

            The LGA Website will be updated to include a synopsis of the SCAPMS meeting and encourage all interested LGA members to review this information. Also, please note the article in this Bulletin regarding the activity of the LGA Lake Environment Monitors. A lot of work by a number of actively engaged volunteers focused on the mission of protecting and improving the quality of our Lake Gaston


Aquatic Weed Committee Meeting August 15, 2007

Two members were not present; Bruce Johnson & Calvin DeShields.

     The agenda focused on improved communication with property owners on the status of various treatment tactics. Wally gave an update on the grass carp tagging project. Several of the transmitters are no longer functional, but initial data suggests that the grass carp do not travel far from the stocking point. The average current log of travel indicates that a couple of miles is the average. Additional carp will be captured and tagged to get data on the travel and habits of more mature carp. When Wally gets more info from Virginia Tech, he will publish a PSA on behalf of the Weed Control Council.

     Wally and David Little are working on the LGWCC website. The intent is to make it more current and eye catching. This would include giving Wally the flexibility of updating pages without going thru the webmaster.

     The balance of the discussions centered around some suggests that Bruce Johnson distributed to members via E-mail. These suggestions were to be included in an update to the LGA Position Paper on weed management. Bruce is currently attending the S.C. State Weed Council meeting and is hoping to garner additional input for the Management Plan. The Committee agreed to table discussions on Bruce's E-mail until Bruce could personally guide us thru these recommendations. The group is also anxious to hear from Bruce regarding information coming out of the meeting in South Carolina.

     Being no other business, the meeting was adorned.

Pete Deschenes


Aquatic Weed Committee Meeting July 18, 2007


Turn out for today's meeting was very poor. Two LGA Directors were present, Calvin & Pete. Fortunately, Bruce Johnson & Wally Sayko were also present.


The Weed Committee mission statement was reviewed and discussed in some detail. It was agreed to leave the mission statement as it currently stands.


Bruce discussed the LGA Weed Management Plan. It was agreed that the Plan was over a year old and needed to be updated with current information. Bruce agreed to do this with the help of John Slaton (see what happens when you don't attend a meeting). The updated Plan should be available for review by the Committee by our next meeting.


Clarification was made to a Bulletin article regarding the status of public treatment.


Being no further business, the meeting was adjourned.


Pete Deschenes

Acting chair


Aquatic Weed Committee Minutes – June 20, 2007

  1. Bob Etheridge, Chairman, called the meeting to order.  Fred Kneisel, Pete Deschenes, Bill Bryant, Ron George, John Cataldo, Jack Saunders and Wally Sayko were in attendance.
  2. Bob brought up an issue from a member regarding timeliness of notices before hydrilla treatments are performed.  The member was concerned that announcements might not be timely in weekly newspapers and it was not certain that an individual would see a notice posted on a dock.  The member in question was put into contact with the LGWCC contract applicator and his issues were resolved.
  3. Discussion then addressed what recommendation might be make to the LGWCC Public Affairs committee to improve communications with lake residents.  Several ideas were discussed to improve website content, and communication with the applicator. 
  4. Pete Deschenes said he had contacted the President of the LGWCC to determine who might go to the annual South Carolina Aquatic Weed Conference planned for 15-17 Aug.  It was decided that it would be appropriate for the incoming LGA Weed Committee Chair to attend to represent the LGA.
  5. Bob thanked all in attendance for their cooperation and support during his tenure as Chair of the committee.  John Cataldo thanked Bob for his leadership and contributions.  Bob’s term expires at the end of the month. 
  6. There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned.

Lake Gaston Assn. Aquatic Weed Committee Minutes:  5/16/07 


The Committee met at the ANPC building in Littleton .

Members present were: George, Slaton, Cataldo, Saunders, Etheridge, Sayko, Underwood, Winebrenner.


The meeting was called to order by Chairman Etheridge at 9 o’clock. He said there were two main topics he felt needed to be discussed today.


The first was the report to be given at the annual LGA meeting on June 9 and the second was the meeting tonight in Brunswick County, Virginia on the proposed weed control contribution.


Bob will not be at the annual meeting on the 9th but has asked Tom to give his report. It would include clarification of the relationship of the LGA and the Lake Gaston Weed Control Council, which our committee had been asked to do. The LGWCC has created a Public Relations Committee to keep the residents informed on weed control activity. The LGA Weed and the LGWCC Public Affairs Committees had a joint meeting and created a “flow chart” and the following PSA information (I have a copy of the PSA) to solve both problems and to keep the public better informed about noxious weeds and their control on Lake Gaston. There will be  further PSA information releases in the future. It was suggested that Chris Cheek of Professional Lake Management be at the annual meeting to answer questions about the treatment areas this year. Tom will email him asking him to attend the meeting/


The Brunswick County Board of Supervisors meeting this evening at 7pm. at the Brunswick County Senior High School in Lawrenceville, VA. will deal with the county’s contribution to the LGWCC for the treatment of noxious weeds in Lake Gaston for the treatment year 2007.


John Cataldo has asked six residents from Brunswick County to speak during the public comment portion of the hearing in favor of the $116,000 requested by the LGWCC from the five counties bordering the lake. The speakers represent various interests within the county. The public comment time is scheduled to be held during the first part of the meeting.


John Slaton said there will be a meeting at 10 o’clock in Raleigh on May 24 at a place to be determined with Rob Richardson and Craig Ellison. The meeting will address the aquatic noxious weed issue. He urged as many members as possible of the LGA and the LGWCC to attend. He will let us know the place for the meeting as soon as Rob lets him know.


There being no further business, the meeting adjourned at 10:05am.


Tom Winebrenner, Secretary


Lake Gaston Assn. Aquatic Weed Committee Minutes 4/18/07

The meeting was called to order by Chairman Bob Etheridge at 9:04 am. The meeting was held at the ANPC Building in Littleton.

 Members present were: Etheridge, Deschenes, Cataldo, Underwood, and Winebrenner.

 Moira asked that she be given the Weed Committee minutes of November, December, January, February and March. Tom said he would email them to her.

 The Brunswick County Board of Supervisors was going to meet on April 19, 2007, to discuss the reduction from $116,000 to $40,000 the amount of money contributed to the Lake Gaston Weed Control Council to combat noxious weeds. It was urged that all members of the LGA and the Weed Control Council from that county attend the meeting to voice their opposition to the proposed cut.

 At the LGA annual meeting on June 9, 2007, in its report the Weed Committee should emphasize the cooperation with the TAG group, the Stakeholders group and the Weed Control Council. The flow chart should be included to show the organizations and their relationship to one another.

 Moira asked for the Weed Committee to have input into the June-July bulletin. John Cataldo agreed to put something together for her.

 Via telephone, Jean McCarter confirmed the $76,000 reduction was on the Brunswick County agenda for the 19th. Another budget hearing is to be held on May 16.

 Hard copies of the proposed noxious treatment areas should be made available for the June annual meeting.

 There being no further business, the meeting adjourned at 9:40 am.

 Tom Winebrenner, Secretary

Lake Gaston Assn. Aquatic Weed Committee Minutes 3/21/07

Members present:: Etheridge, Cataldo, Saunders, Slaton, Deschenes, Winebrenner


The meeting at the ANPC building was called to order by Chairman Etheridge at 9 o’clock.


Bob spoke about the Lake Gaston Weed Control Council approving the “flow chart” put together by Wally Sayko, chair of the LGWCC Public Affairs committee. The chart showed all of the organizations interested in the control of noxious weeds on Lake Gaston and their relationship with each other. Any information submitted for release to the public would be put on the LGWCC website and the LGA website. It was agreed that all organizations need to do a better job of communicating with the public at large.


The number of grass carp desired by the Army Corps of Engineers has not been made public but the LGWCC voted to request 7,720 sterile grass carp be introduced in 2007.


Pete attended a meeting of the North Carolina Weed Control Council in Raleigh two weeks ago. He feels it would be a good idea for someone from the LGWCC to attend each one of these meetings. It is an excellent opportunity to network with people who want to control noxious weeds as much as we do.


Pete spoke about Duke Energy being more involved with the condition of their impoundments than Dominion Power was with theirs. There will be a meeting in South Carolina of their state organization that controls noxious weed treatments. The meeting will be held on August 15-17 in Myrtle Beach. The registration fee is $80 and the hotel rooms are $80 a night. He thought it would be a good idea for several people from the LGA and/or the LGWCC to attend and hear what another state is doing to combat noxious weeds. It would also provide us another opportunity to network with others with the same interests.


John Slaton said the speaker for the LGA annual meeting on June 9, 2007, is Rob Richardson from North Carolina State University.


There being no further business, the meeting adjourned at 10:05 am.


Tom Winebrenner, Secretary



Lake Gaston Aquatic Weed Committee Minutes of February 21, 2007


The Weed Committee was called to order by Chairman Bob Etheridge at 9 am. on Wednesday, February 21, 2007.


Members present: Etheridge, Deschenes, Bryant, George, Cataldo and Winebrenner


Visitors present: Doc Dougherty and Wally Sayko


A lengthy discussion ensued concerning the Lake Gaston Weed Control Council, its Public Affairs Committee and its relationship with the LGA Weed Committee. It was agreed that better communication is needed to inform the public about noxious weeds in Lake Gaston. The general public has the impression that they are not kept fully informed and this should not be the case. The local media covers the news well but the public may not like what it reads and that is why they feel they are not kept informed.


Bob read the draft statement by Jack Saunders of the role of the LGA Aquatic Weed Committee, the TAG group, the Stakeholders, and the LGWCC need to cooperate more. Doc feels the perception is the four organizations are working in opposition to each other rather than cooperating to solve the noxious weed problem. This perception needs to be changed.

Several others felt the statement was too wordy and needed to be more concise. The question was asked would a Lake Commission be the answer?


Wally Sayko agreed to work on a flow chart of the organizations. The LGA might look at sponsoring several forums to educate the public about noxious weed control.


Ron George moved, the motion was seconded by Bill Bryant, to write an updated mission statement and to put together a flow chart of the four organizations. The motion was adopted..


A discussion took place about the Corps of Engineers survey. It is estimated that there are now 3,100 infested acres, a reduction of 800 acres.


The meeting adjourned at 10:15 am.


Respectfully submitted,


Tom Winebrenner, Secretary



Lake Gaston Aquatic Weed Committee Minutes of January 17, 2007


The meeting was called to order at 9 am at the ANPC office by Chairman Bob Etheridge. Members present were: Bob Etheridge, Pete Deschenes, Bill Bryant, John Cataldo, Ron George, John Slaton, Jack Saunders, and Tom Winebrenner.


A discussion ensued about the relationship of the Lake Gaston Association Aquatic Weed Committee with the Lake Gaston Weed Control Council and the Stakeholders group. The consensus of the group seemed to be that we (the committee) should remain separate from the other two groups but should keep them informed as to the positions of our members as it applied to noxious weeds and their control in Lake Gaston.


Chairman Etheridge brought up the subject discussed at last month’s meeting of possibly having residents on Roanoke Rapids Lake  become a part of the LGA. John Slaton has been unable to contact Jim Ward about the idea. He has left numerous messages for Jim to call him back but so far with no success. Several felt the LGA should not pursue the idea. Pete felt that the Roanoke Rapids Lake had a great potential for growth and we should not be too quick to close the door on discussion. DENR had recommended a noxious weed control plan for Roanoke Rapids Lake but nothing was ever done. Ron George asked about a possible relationship with Kerr Lake . Pete said that Kerr was a lake regulated by the Army Corps of Engineers and they also provided noxious weed control.


The TAG group met and made some tentative decisions to take to the Stakeholders. The Corps of Engineers contended they had no money to complete the analysis of the fall survey of Lake Gaston. Pete feels from other conversations that the money may well be found. The issue of grass carp was bought up. The TAG group has tentatively approved the introduction of 9,000 sterile grass carp into Lake Gaston in 2007.  The TAG group also suggested an increased emphasis on the use of systemic rather than contact herbicides. Jack suggested the LEMS could emphasize the use of systemic herbicides as well.


There was a discussion about the survey and the differences in acreage of infested noxious weed infestation.


The possible merger of the Weed Committee and the Lake Environment Committee was discussed but action has not been taken on the merger.


The next meeting will be on Wednesday, February 21, 2007, at 9 am. at the ANPC building.


There being no further business, the meeting adjourned at 10:05 am.


Tom WInebrenner