Jan 17 2017
08:16 am

Invasive weeds are attacking Watts Bar Lake. The attack is just beginning. I personally have seen what happens to a lake when the infestation continues for a few years. At first things seem really good. There's additional cover for top predators to attack and feed from. But then, after a couple of years, the native plants are shaded out and the understory fish species decline. Then the big bass decline because they don't have as much food. At some point this doesn't matter because fishermen can't get through the mats of invasive plants to fish.

Two things are needed:

1 Education...Hunters and fishermen are crucial to managing our outdoor resources. Recreational boaters and sportsmen must educate themselves and each other and not refuse early action to reduce the impact of invasive plants on Watts Bar Lake and our County"s economy.

2. Promote a unified approach...We all have to act together. This is going to be harder than most of us realize. The idea of every man for himself could lead to a haphazard pouring of rather dangerous if misused chemicals into a large source of East Tennessee's drinking water.

Step one is to get the knowledge of the experts out to the public. One dangerous misconception that needs to be eradicated is that these plants can be in any way beneficial to Watts Bar Lake and Roane County's economy in the long run.

“We do know there is a problem and we’re trying to learn more,” County Commission Chairman Ron Berry said last Monday.

County Commissioner Carolyn Granger, a member of the county Environmental Review Board, told the commission that a workshop where more information will be presented on weeds is scheduled February 6.


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