Fri
Dec 23 2016
09:49 am

And we desperately need our media to actually do some journalism with regard to science and facts, instead of acting only as a stenographer for what less informed folks are saying. This is a teachable moment for our media. Read this!

Background: At least three invasive plant species have found their way into Watts Bar Lake. After a few years of thriving with no predators to slow their growth, these weeds have erupted into a bloom of sorts and are making it difficult for lakeside homeowners to use their properties on the water.

County Executive Ron Woody, apparently having consulted actual fisheries managers, has proposed the release of grass carp to deter the plants. This is not a permanent solution so much as a detente with the plants as they will never ever be eradicated from our lake. The carp don't actually prefer the invasive over the native flora and this method has had mixed results in the past.

One Commissioner says to leave the plants alone
because he thinks it will improve hunting and fishing in the lake. I suggest some home study to deal with that misconception. The TN Exotic Pest Plant Society calls milfoil a significant threat.

It won't help ducks:

Eurasian milfoil is considered low-quality food for waterfowl. By reducing or eliminating other species that waterfowl rely upon, milfoil also reduces waterfowl food indirectly

It won't help fish:

In addition to their effects on aquatic plants, dense beds of Eurasian milfoil can also adversely impact animal populations. Abundance and diversity of aquatic insects and other macroinvertebrates was greatly reduced in milfoil beds as compared to nearby native communities, in an Ontario lake (Keast 1984). During their daytime feeding period, Keast (1984) found 3-4 times as many fish feeding in areas with the native plant community as in the milfoil patches. ...Dense stands of milfoil can also alter predator-prey relationships, leading to increases in forage fish and decreases in larger fish

Folks, this is a problem and going to be a monster if we don't follow the science and listen to the experts. I've seen a lake in Texas destroyed by milfoil. The invasives grew so thickly that power boat use was impossible. The time to act is right now!

Thank you, Ron Woody for trying to get out in front of this problem. It is a serious threat to homeowners and lake recreation. We need to take a unified serious scientific approach to dealing with it.

There are multitudes of resources on this. Here is a good one from a State wildlife resources agency

(link...)

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Lost Medicaid Funding

To date, the failure to expand Medicaid / TennCare has cost the State of Tennessee ? in lost federal funding.