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Lake Gaston Stakeholders

Board of Directors Meeting Minutes (Unapproved)

April 27, 2006


President Pete Deschenes called the meeting to order at 9:15 am. at the Long Bridge Volunteer Fire Department Building, Warren County, N.C.


President Deschenes welcomed everyone and asked those present to introduce him/herself and identify the organization he/she represents (see list of attendees attached). There were 31 stakeholder board members and visitors present.


Secretary Larry Jolly asked for additions or corrections to the December 15, 2005 minutes previously submitted. Hearing none, the minutes were unanimously approved.


President Deschenes said he would like the meeting to focus on action items and to develop an action register identifying the issue, who is taking ownership and the timeline. The minutes will be developed to address this.


Vice President Resignation

President Deschenes reported that Boyd Strain was moving from the area and has resigned as LGSB Vice President. He asked for volunteers to fill this position. After some discussion, Doug Hughes agreed to accept the position, if approved by the Board. Following a motion and second that Doug Hughes serve as Vice President, he was unanimously approved by the voting members present.


LGA Recommendations for Grass Carp

Larry Jolly, President of the Lake Gaston Association, provided an overview of the LGA recommendation for the Lake Gaston Management Plan. The LGA plan focused on the process and number of triploid grass carp that should be introduced into the lake. (The LGA Plan is attached to the secretary’s minutes.) The TAG did review the LGA Plan at their last meeting and did not endorse it because they felt it only addressed grass carp.)


Public Informational Forums

Doug Hughes, Chair of the Communications Committee, reviewed the activities of the four (4) informational forums held around the lake. It was felt that they were successful, with about 150 people in attendance. He thanked Kirk Rundle (N.C. Wildlife Resources), Harrell Johnson (RRBA), Rob Richardson (N.C. State University), Vic DiCenzo (Va. Department of Game and Inland Fisheries), Rob Emens (NC DENR) and Larry Jolly (LGSB) for participating on the panel. ACTION  The USACOE can be helpful in communicating with the public on the action plan for R & D efforts and why we have problems on Lake Gaston. (See section under USACOE Report later in the minutes.) Pete Deschenes and Doug Hughes will take this charge and stay in contact with the USACOE, LGWCC and PLM.


LGSB Minutes 4/27/06

Page 2


TAG Meeting April 25, 2006

Harrell Johnson, Chair of TAG, provided a report of their meeting on April 25, 2006.

It was noted that Dr. Phil Kirk, a noted grass carp expert, was present at their meeting. TAG reviewed:

  • Work to be done by the USACOE

  • Agreed to be accountable to the Lake Gaston Weed Control Council (LGWCC) only for treatment recommendations, not budget

  • Treatment options if full funding is not available

  • Public comments at forums ACTION Rob Richardson (NC State) will develop a fact sheet on chemicals used to treat noxious weeds in Lake Gaston. He will also work with Dr. Kirk in developing a “talking paper” to help educate the public concerning lake wide problems on chemicals and grass carp. An issue was raised about fish kills seen on the lake and what might be causing these. Rob will try to address this in his paper.

  • Dr. Kirk felt 10 carp/vegetated acre was a good goal, give USACOE two (2) years and then reevaluate.

  • Decision process of TAG is by consensus

  • One deficiency is there is no true authority vested in TAG—LGWCC does have authority. LGSB is now for the first time giving feedback to the LGWCC, filling a void. LGWCC does have a lack of resources. ACTION Dominion will try to educate the public that anyone treating with chemicals must report to them.

  • All applicators will be invited to TAG meetings as non-voting members.


The report of the TAG was unanimously accepted. It was suggested that minutes of TAG be distributed prior to the LGSB meeting—the recommendation was well received.


USACOE—R & D Work Plan

A report was provided by the USACOE concerning their R & D work plan. About $99,000 from federal money and $400,000 from USDA is earmarked for Lake Gaston. The Plan focuses on:

  • Aging and tagging of grass carp

  • Press release provided upon completion

  • R & D will be an ecologically integrated plan

  • Developing sampling standards

  • Plant replacement for noxious weeds, tuber study in soil, monitoring affect of carp eating, whole lake vegetative mapping, etc.

  • Fly study and releasing—working closely with N.C. State, N.C. & Va. Wildlife, N.C. Prison and Va. Tech.

  • The USACOE is not against grass carp but needs ecological information if need more carp, they would support after analysis.

  • Baseline the lake parameters.


LGSB Minutes 4/27/06

Page 3


  • They are concerned that there may be too much treatment before study and they support “adaptive management”

  • Their R & D has already started last fall. Once their plan has been finalized they report back to the LGSB.


Lake Treatment Company Introduced

Chris Cheek, President of Professional Lake Management (PLM) was introduced. PLM is a fully integrated management company and is under contract with the LGWCC for weed treatment. Chris provided an overview of his company and their plans for the future.


It was reported that the LGWCC has developed a job description for an Executive Director and activated a search committee.


Property Owners Associations’ interest in LGSB

Pete Deschenes reported on discussions with LGSB members concerning property owner associations having a seat at the table and a vote on the LGSB.  ACTION Doug Hughes and Pete Deschenes will repeat the proposal for property owner association voting on the LGSB, which was previously circulated.


Lake Treatment Options and Overuse of Treatments

Treatment options of noxious weeds were discussed. There have been no examples of over aggressive use of grass carp in other lakes.  ACTION  Dr. Smart will try to address this in his fact sheet, about over use of treatments. Vic and Rob agreed to attend meetings with the USACOE when they present this information.


A question was raised about how we know we are not killing “good” weeds when treating for noxious weeds, which type of chemical and at what rate? ACTION Chris Cheek agreed to develop a working paper on this issue to help educate the public.


The issue of draw down of the lake was reviewed. This is not necessarily a “no-no”. ACTION The TAG will consider all tools in fighting noxious weeds. Dominion said they would be willing to work with TAG and realized this may be part of an effective management plan.


Floating hydrilla mats were also discussed. ACTION Chris Cheek will look at this issue this fall and will develop a trial plan of action and a budget. It appears that there are budgeted funds approved by the LGWCC.


Questions concerning floridone treatments and the lasting effectiveness of these treatments surfaced. ACTION  Shaun Hyde along with Chris and USACOE agreed to develop a fact sheet to help educate the public on this issue.


LGSB Minutes 4/27/06

Page 4


An opportunity for a guest speaker at the annual LGA meeting to be held on June 10, 2006 was reviewed by Larry Jolly. ACTION Dr. Smart agreed to be the guest speaker to start the communications process with the public on activities on Lake Gaston and what the USACOE plans for R & D on the lake. Also, Chris Cheek, PLM, will present the most current 2006 treatment plan for the lake and Vic DiCenzo will be present to answer questions about fish, i.e. grass carp


Funding Committee

President Deschenes provided an update on the Funding Committee. There was discussion about the USACOE looking at restructuring future project funding that might include some form of matching funds. ACTION  Look at getting Chris Horton, Harry Miller, John Slaton, Judge Manning, and Almira Papierniak together to discuss funding.  ACTION  Pete Deschenes will email everyone on possible meeting dates and time.


Other Issues

Under other items, a concern was raised about establishing goals and dates those goals should be accomplished. Also expectations (Governance Plan) of the TAG. It was noted by Pete that today’s meeting was a start at identifying action items and the responsible person to complete the items or tasks.


A question was asked, when will we know when the LGSB has finished with the plan that was approved by the board and/or have addressed the items in the plan.  ACTION Larry Jolly will review the plan and past board minutes to research this issue.


The last item raised was a concern that the TAG made a recommendation to the LGWCC concerning the introduction of 7,000 grass carp before it came before the LGSB. The plan is for the TAG to provide advise to the LGSB first but this appeared to be an unfortunate timing issue. In the discussion a reference was made to pages 12-13 of the 2006 General Action Plan of the “Managing Aquatic Plants in Lake Gaston, A Long-term Action Plan.”


It was agreed the next meeting would be held late October or early November 2006.


There being no further business, the meeting adjourned at 3:10 p.m.


Submitted by Larry Jolly, Secretary.



LGSB Minutes 4/27/06

Page 5


Attendees at Lake Gaston Stakeholders Meeting,

April 27, 2006



Pete Deschenes            Friends of the Flotilla 93
Larry Jolly                      LGA
Jim Howell                     Lake Gaston Stripers Club
John Slaton                    Northampton County (alternate)
Vic DiCenzo                   Va. Dept. Game & Inland Fisheries
Jim Thornton                 Dominion Power
John Church                  Warren County (alternate)
Almira Papierniak          Lake Gaston C of C
Harrell Johnson             Roanoke River Basin Assn.
                                      Board of Realtors
Mathew Delk                  Halifax County Commissioners (alternate)
                                      Va. BASS Federation
                                      Warren County Commissioners
Don Beazely                 Lake Gaston Water Safety Council
                                      City of Virginia Beach
Kirk Rundle                   N C Wildlife Resources (alternate)
Robert Gunkle               USACOE—R & D Center


Bruce Johnson           Pine View Subdivision
Bob Etheridge            LGA (alternate)
Joe Peterson              Dominion Power
Bob Lohr                    Lake Gaston Colony Club Assn.
Skip Wiegersma        ANPC

Moira Underwood      LGA Executive Director

Glen Bishop               Dominion

Doug Hughes             Lake Gaston Gazette

Shaun Hyde               SePro Corp.

Dr. Mike Smart           USACOE

Dr. Rob Richardson    N.C. State University

Chris Cheek                PLM

Michael Grodowitz      USACOE

Craig Ellison                Northampton

Charles Wiley              Littleton resident