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TVA to begin aquatic treatment on eel weeds in Lake Guntersville

Updated: May. 26, 2021 at 8:48 PM CDT
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GUNTERSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - If you fish, it’s no secret that “fishing the weeds” can improve your catch. But, if the weeds take over, it can be dangerous for people.

The Lake Guntersville Access boat ramp is just one area where invasive weeds are a concern for TVA officials.

Lake Guntersville is about 69,000 acres. The eelgrass covers about 20,000 - 30,000 acres.

While it is a native plant, it is also considered a nuisance.

TVA Aquatic Plant Program Manager Stephen Turner said the weeds are a major concern right now for the aquatic vegetation of the lake.

“Guntersville reservoir is very shallow and because of that it’s extremely conducive to the growth of aquatic plants and in some areas as you’ve seen it can matte to the surface if we don’t treat it and it gets rid of boat access,” said Turner.

Turner said if left untreated, the weeds could potentially hurt the recreation of the lake and impact revenue, not to mention it could cause serious damage.

“Boat motors, or if you got an outboard or inboard motor, or jetskis are really bad. Yhe plants will get caught up in the props or block up the water pumps, so it can cause issues for boat owners,” said Turner.

Turner and other aquatic experts are preparing to treat the eel weed to maintain access to the lake for boaters and fishermen.

He said they use EPA-approved herbicide spray around public access areas including docks, boathouses and ramps.

“We also use harvesters to open up boat lanes that are further out from shore, so we are trying to be more environmentally friendly with those,” said Turner.

TVA officials will be treating the invasive weeds next week on June 2.

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