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Lake Gaston Stakeholders Board of Directors Meeting

September 22, 2005 (Meeting Minutes)

The meeting was convened at the Roanoke Valley EMS building, Roanoke Rapids, NC at 9 a.m. by Boyd Strain.

Strain thanked Rives Manning (Halifax County Commissioner) for arranging the use of the Roanoke Valley Rescue Squad’s facility and for arranging for a catered lunch by the squad.

The meeting opened with introductions from all who were present and a sign-in sheet was passed around the room. Organizations present and voting representatives were:

Stakeholder Voting Representative

Board of Realtors Beth Smith
Corps of Engineers No voting representative present
Dominion Jim Thornton
Friends of Flotilla 93 Pete Deschenes
Halifax County Rives Manning
LG Association Larry Jolly
LG Striper Club Doug Hughes
LG Water Safety Council Boyd Strain
LG Weed Control Council Dr. Elton Brown
Northampton County John Slaton
NC Bass Federation Randy Lee
NC DENR John Sutherland
NC Wildlife Resources Bob Curry
NC Bass Federation Chris Horton

VA Bass Federation Joan Blankenship
VA DGIF Vic DiCenzo
Roanoke River Basin Assoc. Harrell Johnson
Warren County John Church

Organizations absent were:

Brunswick County, City of Virginia Beach, LG Chamber of Commerce, Mecklenburg County

Also present, but not voting were:

Susan Shaw-Snow Recorder
Ulysses S. Ross Warren Co. Commissioner
Robert Lohr Lake Gaston Colony Club Assoc.
Michael Grodowitz U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Michael Smart U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Bob Gunkel U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Skip Wiegersma ANPC
Richard Hinterman ANPC
Bill Culpepper SePro Corporation
Christian Waters NC Wildlife Resources Commission
Kirk Rundle NC Wildlife Resources Commission
Harry Miller Dominion
Joe Peterson Dominion
Bruce Johnson Lake Gaston Resident
Fred Taylor WRAL Television
Doug Bearce Littleton Observer
Jim O’Brian LG Striper Club

Strain stated the purpose for the meeting was to review the document prepared since the last meeting and to make any modifications necessary to get approval of a final document.

Strain announced that we need to finalize the governance section of the document.

Comments were made on the governance document. The word safety was inserted in Number 1, Article 4. A more significant change was made to the voting procedures in Article 10. The wording was changed from requiring a simple majority to requiring 2/3 of those present to make a decision.
John Slaton moved to accept the changes Pete Deschenes seconded.

At this point in the meeting there were only 13 organizations in attendance that were authorized to vote. According to the voting requirements adopted at the June 2005 meeting a voting majority of 2/3 is required to decide motions. The motion on changes to the governance document was voted on with all 13 voting members voting positively.

Strain then went over the other items the board needed to accomplish for the day. He explained that we should consider and vote on the communication plan, the management goal, the five-year action plan, treatment options and the 2006 general action plan. A section on funding has not yet been developed and will have to be delayed until the December meeting.

We will also address the issue of insertion of grass carp in 2005.

Strain said the document had been circulated to the science group via email. He hoped to get enough resolution on the management and treatment aspects of the document to produce a go-ahead document to be used for the necessary goals and purposes of the board.

Strain also pointed out that at the end of the day we need to elect a chairman, vice-chairman and secretary. The organization needs to do this in order to get organized.

Finally, we need to decide what we want to do and accomplish in December 2005 meeting and set that up. We need to clarify that the stakeholders is a public group and we need to announce the meetings in local media and announce that the public is invited. We have visitors here today and we ask that the public not speak until they are invited to do so. We need to accomplish the business announced in the agenda. If visitors have a point on an issue that is on the floor then we would ask to hear from you, but we ask that there be no new business proposed from visitors until the end of the meeting at which time we will take new items for discussion and consideration.

There was a question about article two on voting amendment.
CHRIS HORTON: “How do you go about setting the numbers needed to decide an issue?” It was determined that our procedures call for 2/3 majority so 13 voting organizations in attendance would require 9 votes for resolution.

Strain recognized DOUG HUGHES to present the document on communications. Hughes described the proposal and stated that a critical need was to provide a mechanism for releasing information to the media.

Comments on the document included:

JOLLY: “I think the document distributed prior to this meeting should be modified to present technical details.

DESCHENES: “The concern is with public forums. We need to assure people understand as we move to more of a communication focus and to public forums.”

HORTON: “We need to talk about a time line at some point and we need to start figuring out when to bring the document out to the public and get feed back. How fast can we do that?”

HUGHES: “When the Stakeholders Board met and talked our thoughts were that the key would be when we have something to take to the public is when we’d be ready to go. We can’t develop a timeline without a final document. I think the timeline needs to be short. If we approve a management plan today, that’s a start. We need to move quickly and get the document and management plan worked out and get it to property owners and the public. One key issue is funding. I think we’d like to have something solid on funding before we go to the public. So any timeline is going to be based on obtaining an approved document.

DESCHENES, “Chris hits on a point that’s frustrating. We need to come up with timeline even if doesn’t stand. Put something forward we can all strive to achieve.”

MANNING: “We need to do that ASAP. It did get through the NC Legislature to establish tax Districts, so counties can come up with methods of funding. The counties need to work together to establish a funding plan.”

DESCHENES: “I move that we approve communications document as a document in progress.” SLATON seconded Pete’s motion.

A representative from the Roanoke River Basin Association came in and STRAIN announced that we now had 14 voters and needed 10 votes to pass or deny any motion.

CURRY: “ Item no 23 involving Wildlife communications, I want to make it clear there is nothing I can do to commit the Wildlife Magazine to publish anything.”

STRAIN: “I think that is understood for all information release situations.”

The motion to approve the communications document as a document in progress passed with a vote of 14 positive.

STRAIN then recognized SLATON to comment on Funding.

SLATON: “It would essentially be better if ESPN/BASS and the five counties became the leaders of funding. Jim Howell is the current chair. We would be glad to work with anyone who might provide information. Now the current sources are the five counties, the State of North Carolina and the City of VA Beach.

Currently, the only assured are from VA Beach. All others sources are determined annually. The five county governments make annual decisions. The N.C. Division of Water Resources has a matching funds grant, we must get counties and other local matching funds, and both are a year by year request. In Virginia we were able to get $50,000 last year. There are federal funds we hope will become available, but that will also be a year by year authorization. We need to look into areas of private or other sources but we have been unable to find any additional sources we qualify for. That’s the reason I am suggesting the counties and BASS be our primary leaders in funding matters.”

THORNTON: “What is the contribution from VA Beach and Counties?”

SLATON: “Va Beach contributed $216 thousand and that increases slightly each year. NC provides noxious weed funding, $200,000 is generally allocated and requires matching funds, which can be from the counties or any local funds. Last year VA only come up with $50 thousand. The counties generally have given $40,000 with Halifax only$20 K last year.

CURRY: “That funding is matching one on one and any qualified group in NC can apply to get funds from the matching funds grant.”

JOLLY: “In the September issue of BASS Times… it was reported that some funds can be used to limit noxious weeds that obstruct boating access in public waters. In NC I think that translates to about $1 million.”

HORTON: “I think that was stated differently. I think the sole purpose was to support sport fishing activity.”

JOLLY: “Chris please double check the article and clarify the issue for us.”

DECHEANES: We need to put committees together and assure that all work well together. How can we get funding if we don’t even have a plan. Issues we need to spend time on is brainstorming a management plan, otherwise everything else is moot.”

CURRY: “ To follow up on funding, there are sources that have to be matched. These funds can support research on Lake Gaston and fishing activities. The funds must be spent on sport fishing activity. They can be tied together with weed management and we need certainly to look at those options. With funding through private universities we are looking at whether the grass carp eat parrot feather. We are looking to answer some questions whether to stock grass carp or not. It’s a two year study and we have just started to get answers to some questions. At least the issues are being looked at. Most funding is coming from BASS federation and universities.”

It was pointed out that Wayne Jenkins (Northampton County Manager) had the five counties get together. It was suggested that Jenkins planned to have the counties meet again to look at the funding issue for weed management on the lake.

DESCHENES: “ I recommended we try to reorganize a funding group. Recommend the counties and BASS form the leadership of the funding group.”

HORTON: “As far as BASS taking a leadership role that’s not possible. We represent 47 states. Leadership role is just not feasible. As far as assisting, we will do that as far as federal grants and finding sources. One of your state Representatives might assist you. If you could get someone like that to get you federal help that would be a step toward solving your problem. Right now, though, you’re asking me to sell something you don’t have. I need a master plan. It’s hard for me to go to anybody and ask for help funding with no plan to present. When we have something more concrete that will be easier. I know that Restoration and Fish America give small grants, and there are some small additional funding avenues. I have to best represent all of our members all the way to the national level. Officially, there is no way I can be on a funding committee. But I will still help you get all the funding I can, but I need a product.”

STRAIN: “We need leadership. At one point the Weed Counsel had a funding committee. John could that group be put back into action?”

SLATON: “It certainly can be. The original committee did look at lot of different things. As Chris just said it is hard for any funding group to go out and ask for money when we don’t have a figure to ask. It looks like it’s going to be 2 plus million, until such time (as a management plan is completed) we really don’t know, we can’t put a good number on it. I’m certain it will take a lot of time and effort and it can’t be done alone. That’s why we asked the five counties and a national organization to be deeply involved. I hope that the five counties do meet and this will be high on their agenda.”

Responding to a question MANNING replied that he thought the five counties could be encouraged to become more active in the funding area.

BROWN: “ Would the counties agree to looking into hiring a lake manager to be employed by one of the counties? With good credibility that person could do funding issues. We would have a leader in place.

MANNING: I think so.

HUGHES: So are we going to advertise for a director?

BROWN: We have actually in past.

MANNING: “That needs to come up at the five-county meeting.

BROWN: It certainly should be on the table.

DESCHENES “It’s my understanding the SH board poses to bring something instrumentally. We can’t keep going to Weed Counsel. I’m disappointed this group has brought nothing to the table.”

MANNING: “ One thing to remember, the Stake Holders is a loose group not a 501 C-3. Weed council is tax exempt, if stakeholders hires someone and puts them on a payroll it would have to become a corporation or something to do that. Whole idea of the stakeholders group is to give insight, and the funding issues go back to weed counsel because they are already 501 C-3.”

STRAIN: “With BASS in no position be a leader. We are back to the point of asking the five counties to take the leadership roll in funding solicitation and weed management. Wayne Jenkins said he would work to get the counties back together. Is the Stakeholders group willing to postpone any decision until after that meeting and wait for additional input?”

MANNING: “They’ll probably meet in Oct. (Editor’s note: A meeting of the five counties has been scheduled for Oct 20, 2005 with Rives Manning and Wayne Jenkins as leaders.)

DESCHENES: “There lies the problem. If we refer funding opportunities to counties to talk about until next time we get together the rest of us can do nothing until then. We can’t open public forums because we don’t know what is to be funded. I’m not denying we need counties. But I’m not sure where leadership roll belongs. Does it belong in the counties?”

HORTON: “I think we’re putting the cart before the horse. There’s the potential to have grant money, but until you actually have a plan, I can’t submit anything. Potentially you know you need to have 1 to 2 million dollars, yet you don’t have a plan on how it is to be used. It would be hard for me to justify asking members to support it if I don’t have a plan.”

STRAIN: “He’s correct, right now we’re working on just a general plan. We are waiting to know what this year’s treatment plan did so we can establish 2006 treatments. I was thrilled to hear federal funding may be coming and a national group of weed experts is willing to do survey and have scientists meeting to consider a plan they recommend for 2006 season. What we’re waiting for is the announcement of federal money and scientist to receive funds to determine what they want to be done. The stakeholders group has to decide if the current plan is appropriate or if there are modifications to make. There are three representatives here from the Corp who have recently done a survey on the Lake. Maybe they will tell us the nature of that and say whether it can be used on funding issues and to help get a management plan together. We need to decide whether we want to make any specific action on funding or postpone until we get more management details.”

MANNING: “The counties need to see a management plan and know how much will be needed so we can decide. Get with management plan together and put dollars to it so we can know what it’s going to cost.

Boyd Strain called for a 15 minute recess.

When the meeting reconvened, Boyd Strain asked the Corp of Engineers people present to give a brief report on what they were doing (survey) and what they found.

John Sutherland from the NC DENR came in and that put the voting members to 15 with a 2/3 majority of 10 required to decide issues.

Strain clarified to the Corp of Engineers that he requested a brief report on what they were doing and what they had observed. He explained that these surveys were important and if the board could use the information it would help in the anticipation of any possible funding. He noted that if they waited until next year to put any plans together, the board would be behind. He pointed out that in case funding does come along, the board would have the information from the survey.

SMART: “Survey covered 100 points on the lake. We looked at the density and species present.” He pointed out the survey did not note the presence of grass carp and did not do anything pertaining to Hydrilla densities. He said the assuming funding comes through, the Corp would get the reports out.

GRODOWITZ: “Last year we released about 600,000 insects. We sampled the release sites and did not find evidence they had established. We will look further. With blessing of Weed Counsel, we will release about 700,000 insects to continue the project. We are trying to develop multiple resources. Working closely with the N.C. Department of Corrections to see if we can use prisoners to release insects.”

STRAIN: “The Weed Counsel is mostly involved with carp and herbicides. The insect release started last year to see if it is another possibility for treatment and if it shows promise we can use it in a larger way. What we would really like to do is reach some consensus that we are using all national, state and county efforts resources effectively. We need to know if we can start a five year treatment plan in 2006. If we cannot get sufficient survey data from the 2005 treatment, we will have to postpone the five year plan until 2007. In that case we will try to extend the current contract for one additional year to allow some treatment in 2006. Let’s look at the current plan. Please go to page 8 and look at the document. Let’s see if there are any goals we need to tweak or delete.”

There was no response.

STRAIN: “I see we don’t have any one point that has anyone jumping up and down. I assume the set goals in this part are adequate.

Someone made a motion to accept the section.
Rives Manning seconded.
The issue was opened for discussion.

JIM THORNTON: “One thing that was missing is the nutrient management side.”

STRAIN: “I don’t remember specific goals of nutrient management.”

THORNTON: “One of the things that makes hydrilla proliferate is water quality. I have concern about that. I don’t know if it is appropriate to make it a goal, rather perhaps a sub-goal. It needs to be considered as far as public education.

MANNING: “I thought that should come from Dominion and the Corps and Agriculture Cooperative Extension.”

STRAIN: “Do we want to have specific goals to participate in the management of nutrients? We are trying to get management goals covered.”

SLATON: “Would we ask for volunteers to monitor it?”

STRAIN: “LGA is considering the appointment of 50-60 volunteer water quality monitors, should we write it in as a goal?”

BROWN: “Water quality is already in the Weed Counsel goals.

HUGHES: “It is actually already in our main goals, it states that we would meet recreation uses of lake, water quality, fish and wildlife habitat. I don’t think we need to get more specific than that.

BROWN: “I’m not sure we need to say that.”

STRAIN: “It’s part of water quality. Can we put in a statement that we want to attempt to manage quality?”

JOHN SLATON: “We all do monitor quality.”

HUGHES: “I think that is beyond our goals. We can’t monitor if it’s beyond our scope.”

CURRY: “I don’t think that is a goal we can have. Quality…we don’t have a lot of control over. We could access and monitor how it might impact our other efforts, I think if we add something we should add that we would monitor and assess but not manage water quality and nutrients”

STRAIN: “Bob’s right… maybe add words about monitoring quality.

THORNTON: Considering nutrients we might include a third bullet of education as part of prevention program. We’ve been trying to educate the public. In a lot of cases we have been ignored or unheard. Maybe coming from another sources the public would be more receptive. If someone else tells them that what they’re doing on their lawn causes the problem they are trying to fight. Having information that they should not fertilize 100 feet from water, it would be good coming from this group.

It was briefly discussed and determined that on page 9, third from bottom there would be a nutrient statement added specifically that the management goals would link education and try to educate the public to the management goal concerns.

STRAIN suggested that the statement be general and that nothing specific be put in to manage nutrients that monitoring is all that the group could do.

JOHNSON suggested that there were a lot of studies about the nutrients in the lake and that might consider as goal not to manage the nutrients but to rather expand the data base about the nutrients.

BROWN: “Page 8 in the development of aquatic plant management discussions in the past whether or not to make hydrilla the invasive plant. Hydrilla may not be the number one problem and we have it set up as the number one problem.”

STRAIN: “Maybe we should strike hydrilla and add others.”

WIEGERSMA “…Include other nuisance vegetation.”

SUTHERLAND “”Leave hydrilla and add other invasive species to meet the goal. There are many other nuisance species that may become problems some of which are harder to manage than Hydrilla.

STRAIN: “What if we say initially focus on hydrilla and add others.”

BROWN: “The problem is that when the public sees green in the lake it’s hydrilla. Emphasize hydrilla now and go after other noxious species at the appropriate time.

It was determined to include hydrilla and add “other plants,” and that something needed to be included that allowed management to target other plants and problems.

Some members complained that too much time was being spent on too many individual words in the document. Boyd Strain pointed out that the document had been available for the board’s review and that until the meeting he had received no feedback. Doug Hughes pointed out that point as well. Boyd explained that what he preferred to do was to give the document to a writing committee to fine tune and edit the document to prepare it for publication and presentation goals.

MANNING: made a motion to accept that section with the requested changes and John Slaton seconded. The motion passed 10-2 with Wildlife casting the dissenting votes.

CURRY: “I don’t like the motion. I don’t know what the amendments are. My concern is that I don’t know what we are voting on every time. We are voting and we want a good management plan. We want to know, is this gospel or not. We can support a good management plan. We don’t know for sure if this goal is being achieved by the objectives. Are the bullets actually goals? Or does objectives mean there is still groundwork that needs to be done?”

STRAIN moved the meeting discussion on to the five year plan.

STRAIN: “…Should we establish a five-year plan? We’ve been running on the same five-year plan we established five years ago. Do we want to stick to that model? We say it’s adaptive and can be changed. Do we want to and can we make a statement that the five-year plan is acceptable?

CURRY: “Biggest thing is 2 points. …Take out determine and replace with recommend in the statement. We make recommendations. Not determine.”

STRAIN: “We’ll change determine to recommend. Now I would like to see if we can make a recommendation on the general nature we have here so we can give this to the polishing committee and come up by the time we meet in December with a document to distribute. By then we will have the results of the surveys and what other information we get…”

HORTON made the point that it is easier to go national and to apply for grants and to get federal money if when it came time to reappropriate federal funds there was something in concrete writing, a structured plan. He pointed out that with a management plan, it would state how the lake problems would be managed, the cost and how the money would be used. He stated that the five-year action plan was what the group needed to spend their time on and they needed to identify their goals.

STRAIN commented that there had been discussion of extending the current contract for herbicide treatment for one year since there was little time to develop the budget for a new 5-year plan.

DESCHENES asked Chris Horton to describe what would be acceptable in a five-year plan.

HORTON: “A good five-year plan lists areas to be treated and how they are going to be treated, whether it’s with herbicides, bugs etc. and what areas you are not going to focus on and leave as untreated habitat now. It should prioritize the areas and show what the follow up will be.

STAIN pointed out that it had been determined that 5 years was the minimum the board decided it needed to concentrate on. He asked the group to look at the general action plan’s 4 paragraphs that it had some of what Chris talked about. He asked that everyone look at it and see if it starts to accomplish what Chris said was needed.

SLATON made a motion to accept the 5-year plan and change determine to recommend. It was suggested they change “science team” to “technical advisory group.”

DESCHENES spoke against haggling over words and suggested that they needed to concentrate on the five year plan in order to concentrate on funding.

A discussion ensued about the diagram. Boyd suggested he should burn the old diagram and put in a new one. Pete D is upset because he felt the meeting was not accomplishing the goal and purpose it was set to. Complained that despite the document being out for several months for review, Boyd had received no feedback. Suggested nothing was being accomplished. Boyd asked that everyone consider the action plan and see if it needed changes.

HORTON: “I can approve that part. I think we really need to spend time on the meat of the thing and get going to have something to present for funding purposes. The first thing in my mind is that the first thing needed is to prioritize the areas where you’re going to treat. How we treat it and how you plan to accomplish those goals.”


THORNTON: “Safety and public should be number one priority. I heard Chris talk about priorities, are we talking about specific application for one year?”

HORTON: “I was talking about the five-year plan and specifically identifying areas to treat. The bigger issue is the places that are more popular.

BOYD: We set up the new 5-year plan to concentrate on areas where people use the water, boating access. There is the argument whether residents or the public should be the number one priority. Actually the residents are the number one users, public access is a minor use on this lake.”
HORTON: Public access is really not a minor issue. I understand that primarily public access is a small part on Lake Gaston. Guntersville put public access first.

STRAIN: when we discussed the amount of money needed, residential came up first. Not that the marinas are any lower priority, it’s just that they are not many to take care of.”

WIEGERSMA: “A ball park figure for public access area is 15 to 20 acres”.

HORTON pointed out that it would be easier to sell the need for management to legislatures on public access as opposed to funds for residential treatment.

MANNING: “Residential is number one. That’s a good selling point around the lake, if you don’t put them first you’ve got a problem. Other lakes have more public access. Here you’ve got taxpayers and residents that need to be first. There’s no problem with public safety for the public access but the public has got to come behind residents.”

JOHNSON suggested the board should take ecological approach and set priorities based on human interest, and the possibility to get better funding was based on ecological and environmental priorities. He pointed out the ecological system protection was not addressed at all.

BOYD: “You’re right. That needs to be set up… to satisfy customers.”

HORTON said he could agree with that approach.

Someone said that residents would be double taxed for living at the lake.

DOUG HUGHES” (Referring to the possibility of tax districts) “(Residents are already paying federal and county taxes, now they’re going to pay another tax if the funds are taken out of the general fund, you wind up paying double in the county. If you’re going to sell this plan and any part of it involves taxing landowners, then residents have got to be top priority.”

SMART: “If you’re going to ask the federal government to foot any of the bill you need to be treating the lake as a whole. The feds won’t pay to treat residents back yards.”

CURRY: “Public access and public safety should be number one.”

THORNTON: “Sounds like part of the issue is to potentially educate the public, we’re only talking about public access and public safety as the top, well that’s just a small portion of the lake. Now if getting funds means we should put public first, that’s what we should be looking to do for a mass approach. We keep talking about taxes, that’s not a sure thing (source of funding). When you produce this for the public, you see that private owners have direct access, you’re going to have to educate the public about why they are number 2 and not number one.”

MANNING: “You’re talking about $2 million. $1 million is coming from local folks who happen to be residents. They need to be number one.”

“BOYD: “We need to vote on priorities and I just don’t think anyone is going to be happy.

BROWN: “The public are not trying to get outside funding. To get outside funding if the public has to be number one and residents number 2 and it helps get funding to treat the lake, I think they would be happier than if it had to come out of their own pockets.”

MANNING “Do you put the 15 – 20 acres, which is 1/3 of 1 percent, in top priority over 80 percent?

DESCHENES: “I make a motion we combine priority number one and two and move on. Why are we worrying about it here?”

MANNING seconded the motion to combine public and residential to make them both top priority. The vote was 13-2

JOHNSON asked to table the Slaton motion and get acceptance from everything from middle of page 8 over to the beginning of the action plan. John Slaton made a motion and someone seconded it that they accept all as modified.

The discussion turned to grass carp.
Boyd asked for input on the issue. He asked if there were comments on the last 4 paragraphs.

CURRY: “As to the long term maintenance, we are on the conservative side. The biologists say only 10 fish per infested acre.

BOYD: “The range is 8-14. This is one we hear a lot of argument for. Are we prepared to adjust to ten or not to exceed ten per acre?”

SMART: “Is it logical to propose harvesting carp?”

BOB CURRY: “No. Take out harvesting carp. Critics are assessing the natural mortality. Fall is not a good time to stock, they die off, they just don’t survive and in the winter you lose anywhere to 20 to 30 percent per year.”

SUTHERLAND “That’s why Santee Cooper put a bunch of fish over several years until they got control of the problem, then they stopped and had a natural die-off, overstocking hasn’t been a real problem.”

STRAIN: ”I guess we could ask the question of what to put and make sure we put not to exceed a density of ten per infestied acre. As written it says stocking range is 8-14 per infested acre.”

HUGHES made a motion that the board approve the clause as written. John Slaton seconded.

THORNTON: “The only way to get grass carp is if Dominion applies for the permit. If wildlife says no more than ten, we will only apply for what Wildlife approves.

STRAIN called for a vote on the wording.

The vote was 9-5 consequently failing for lack or a 2/3 majority of 10.

CURRY: “As a state agency we are interested in having no more than we can allow. Right now we’re comfortable with 10 per acre. If there is a massive die off, then we would exceed more and maybe get up to 15 to reestablish the desired target level, but when we get a permit for what we have right now, that target is 10 per acre.”

MANNING: “If we have a die off and we pass it now as written, we might say next year we need 14.”

STRAIN: “I think what he is saying is that if the 10 target gets in the lake and we go out and ask and there are 8 per acre then your stocking rate might be 12 to 14 per acre to reach the target ten.”

MANNING: “Are we calling for another vote or what” I make a motion we leave it.”
CURRY: “The stocking density is ten per vegetated acre. That’s the general ball park, It doesn’t make any difference what it says, it may wind up being 20, but we say leave it at 10.”

DESCHENES: “The motion states that the prevailing density is 10 per infested acre with the stocking range of 8-14 used to reach that. There is still a target of 10 fish, not to exceed ten, but what I originally heard from you is not to exceed ten, now you’re saying something different.”

STRAIN: So we put it at not to exceed ten but that stocking we can go to 8-14.”

CURRY: “Forget about the 8-14.”

HUGHES “What we’re saying is that if we get together and say we want to use 6 to get to ten we won’t give them room to reach the density of ten per acre. If we need to stock at the rate of 8-14 to get to ten then we’ll have room.”

CURRY: “We’re looking at a target not to exceed ten per acre. If we decide there are eleven per acre then we are going to say no because it exceeds the target. We are trying to make it as simple as possible. We are trying to make it clear of when we will and when we won’t OK stocking.”

DESCHENES: (HEATED): “The motion was something like this, move the target density to ten fish per vegetated acre with a stocking rate of 8-14.” Smith had left the room so the voting number is now at 14 with 9 required to determine an issue.

Voted, 10 said yes, one nay 3 abstained (Wildlife representatives abstained)

This motion passed with more than 2/3 majority voting yes.

STRAIN: There is an argument that there is 3,000 acres that that is how much hydrilla is out there now. In fishermen’s point of view, they don’t care if it’s hydrilla or something else. We have it set at 15 percent of 20,300 acres, do we keep that or not? In the wording we were shooting for 3,000 acres and the goal was to convert that from noxious to desirable species.”

WIEGERSMA: “If there were 5,000 acres and we had all the money we wanted there would still be 5,000 vegetated acres. Something is probably going to grow there.

STRAIN: “The goal is to set a number of a management goal that would get that number. If something is growing there is an ecological healthy system and we need that. Do I hear any requests to move the number up or down? The number came from the realization there is a lot of vegetation and that ecologically we need a certain amount.

WIEGERSMA: “I thought the number seemed low. If you set the number as it is currently, you might find later there is 6,000 acres of vegetation and you really need room to control more.”

STRAIN: So there is the argument you might find 6-8 thousand acres. We have to protect the interest of the people. Certain people don’t want us to remove all the vegetation. Our goal is not to eliminate all the vegetation of the lake. I think that if we learn form others, like Kerr or others that 6,000 acres is feasible, all we have to do is change that.

CHRIS HORTON: “Plants are important to bluegill crappie and all fish.”

STRAIN: We state that our goal is to eliminate as many of the noxious weeds as possible. We want to maintain photosynthesis in the lake, and we have to have living plants in a lake in a certain amount to do that. I think that if we decide next year the number should be less or more we can change it according to our bylaws. We need to take out the comment about harvesting grass carp.

CURRY: Are there any other points on the last 4 paragraphs?”

STRAIN answered a question from BRUCE JOHNSON about the continuation of Fluridone treatments: “It is our intention that the Fluridone treatments will continue as possible. We need to set priorities to clean out the most infested area. Any residual money available in 2006 will be used to continue Fluridone treatment.”

JOHNSON asked how much Fluridone costs compared to contact sprays.

WIEGERSMA: “About the same.”

STRAIN: asked about people who irrigate from the lake. “How long after Fluridone treatment is it safe for them to do so.

WIEGERSMA said 30 days from treatment.

SLATON: Commented on the issue of property owners treating their shoreline “Wee cannot tell property owners they can’t treat themselves. They do have the right to hire someone. If a property owner wants to treat all they have to do is pick up the phone and call someone to treat it.”

THORNTON: “The state allows it if the owner is going to do it correctly. I believe the Agriculture Department regulates that.”

STRAIN: We are missing a critical component not having a representative from Agriculture on the board. Agriculture has the authority to regulate that anybody can treat if they do it according to law. We need a way to monitor that so we don’t treat where a homeowner has already treated”.

STRAIN: Now I would like to raise the issue of comes to whether or not we are going to put carp in the lake this year

CURRY: “Address things as they happen. We haven’t determined the who, what, when, where. What identification are we using for infested acreage? We haven’t determined that so we don’t know what to use. We just want somebody to say ‘we have this many acres,” and then we will come up with the mechanics to determine what number of grass carp, but we need a model or something to go by. We can’t spend $200,000 to figure out (how many acres are infested). We want you to have something hopefully by the December meeting. Then we will figure out what we need to reach the target”

STRAIN asked and said that the Corps had done a survey and if that could be used. Asked Skip when they would do theirs.

WIEGERSMA: said the survey would happen in late October that they were doing a satellite imagery that would run from Sept. 15 through Oct. 15 and in another month to 6 weeks the process would be completed and a report would be put together. He said they chose 500 points to determine the vegetation in the area.”

CURRY: Based on the last survey, what was the official acreage?

Someone said they could make a phone call and get that information.

WIEGERSMA offered Wildlife that if they would like to sit down with him he would show them what they do and how they get their figures.

CURRY: “Grass carp are on everybody’s mind. We want to see what we can agree to and how we are going to assess our figures so you will understand whether or not we will agree to put more carp in and why and how we determine that.”

STRAIN: “It’s too late to put any in this year. If we reach a determination to put new ones in it will be in the spring. “

CURRY: “If we can get the figures by December we can figure out and determine what number we will need in advance. But it’s up to you guys (to get the survey and figures to Wildlife).”

THORNTON: We were talking about a target, I think we should keep 3,000 acres, I understand the last couple of years it’s been fluctuating. We will be doing a survey to determine the total vegetation of the lake.”

Someone asked when the shoreline maps would be distributed.

STRAIN: “Both state and federal labs will get the Shape files. Others will get pdf files.”

WIEGERSMA: As long as we are doing it (survey) the same way each time, it won’t be exact but it will be in the ball park.”

STRAIN: “we need to organize ourselves. As I said at the beginning of the meeting, we need to elect a chairman to start with and we need a secretary to provide consistency in handling records and stuff. We need this to smooth out our operation. And we need a vice-chair to handle things in the event the chairman can’t be available. The goal is to get nominations from the stakeholders voting members. The nominees need to be on equal footing with the rest of voting stakeholders.

Someone tried to nominate Boyd Strain.

STRAIN: I don’t think a person in my shoes can help the board. The chairman has to be somebody like you Who wants to be chairman. Who wants to nominate somebody as chairman?”

HORTON nominated Pete Desheanes. A motion was made to close the nominations and seconded. Pete accepted. The vote was 13 for Pete as chairman.

Boyd Strain was nominated and elected to serve as vice-chair and Larry Jolly was chosen as secretary. All the votes were 13 in favor as two voters had left right after lunch.

THORNTON agreed to get Dominion’s files on its Web site and he pointed out that what was on the site now was part of the shoreline management plan and that there was a more specific one with better detail given to realtors that was not on the site but he would get it onto the site.

Someone asked what would be done with the document. STRAIN said he would not make the decision because he felt that if he did he would wind up doing it. He said that Pete and he would decide how to proceed from the day’s meeting. Boyd said it was tough to get people to do things because he felt that in some cases this was a hobby job. He said that smaller groups should meet and that action needed to be taken in a timely fashion. He said the stakeholders is just a resource group and it does not have the authority to determine anything.”

DESHCENES: “We need to work together with the Weed Counsel and other organizations to get funding and stuff.”

MANNING: “Getting back to funding, I will ask the group meeting of the five counties, basically I will take the lead on that it be through the five counties and I’ll get the group to work on that.

STRAIN: “ I hear that the target goal is to try and get half of the money from the counties. If they can pull it off that’d be great. The counties have zoning control and a lot of control they’re not using.

DESCHENES: I understand that Manning is accepting the responsibility to get the counties together?”

MANNING: “No that’s Wayne Jenkins. I said I would try to take the lead to get the 5 counties on board for the funding side.

A visitor asked about joining the stakeholders board to represent his homeowner’s association. There was a discussion about how to get a representative group of the whole area, homeowners and all without getting too large to function.

CURRY asked if the homeowner asking for a place on the board was represented in any other way.

STRAIN pointed out that many people on the lake do not feel represented. Most were unhappy with the county government, the LGA etc.

The visitor asked for a position from the board that he could take back to his homeowner’s association. DESCHENES suggested that homeowners could attend the meetings and be represented at the table without voting privileges. He said they could attend without being a part of the decision making process. He said allowing homeowner associations to join as voting members could open floodgates, but if they wanted to sit at the table that was, something the board might consider.

Someone pointed out there are more than 200 homeowner’s associations around Lake Gaston.

JOHNSON: “Please clarify the point of whether he (visitor) was represented or not. If his homeowners are members of the LGA, aren’t they represented?”

There was further discussion about contacting homeowners associations to see what percentage of response would come in. Doug Hughes suggested that the more homeowners that felt they were a part of the process the more would feel the board was beneficial to them. He saw it as a win-win situation.

It was determined that the visitor should take back to his owners that they were welcome to attend any meetings of the board as observers.

MANNING: Thanked Chris Horton and BASS for paying for lunch for the entire group.

The meeting was adjourned at approximately 1:45 p.m.