Let's cut the Environmental Review Board some slack. They are appointed volunteers. My experience with them is that they mean well and are trying to do a good job for us. Apparently folks didn't hear what they wanted to hear at the hearing. My solution is to ask the scientists what we can do and expect and then do what they tell us to do.
The bottom line is that we will never get rid of invasive plants in Watts Bar Lake and must shift to a management scenario. Some folks seem to be stuck on the triploid (sterile) grass carp as the "obvious solution". Problem is that experience shows this doesn't work. In fact, for a large reservoir like Watts Bar Lake it will make the problem worse. Here is an excerpt from one state's web site on the problem:
Grass carp are generally not recommended for milfoil control because milfoil is not a highly preferred food. Some research has indicated that grass carp have food preferences and will consume more palatable plant species, such as pondweeds and waterweed, before they will eat milfoil. As a result, the concern is that they can enhance milfoil growth by removing competition from native plants and opening up more area for milfoil to colonize.
So we can let landowners contract on their own to pay to have chemicals sprayed into the lake from which most of our drinking water comes, or we can act as one to promote the best solution. TVA has given notice that they are abandoning efforts to control the weeds in Guntersville lake, so those folks will be onb their own pretty soon too.
We'd better get going on this. And not just us. Fishing and recreational boats will soon have spread this to every lake in TN.
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