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Laura Garcia | Laker Weekly
Tri-County Lake Administrative Commission approved the sterile grass carp and Royal Flush programs Tuesday.
Friday, October 11, 2013
Another round of sterile grass carp will be released into Smith Mountain Lake next year to combat invasive weeds such as hydrilla. Board members unanimously approved the purchase of the fish during the Tri-County Lake Administrative Commission's monthly meeting on Tuesday.
On March 27, TLAC released into the lake 6,000 sterile grass carp, which ranged in size from 14-16 inches .
Bob Camicia, Franklin County supervisor and TLAC vice chairman, suggested TLAC continue the program. He said it can take up to seven years before the full results can be measured.
Larry Iceman, board secretary/treasurer and water quality monitoring program chairman for Smith Mountain Lake Association, said divers were out on the lake in mid-September and saw barely any stubbles of hydrilla. He added that Bull Run used to be inundated with the species.
"It's now clean as a whistle," Iceman said.
Camicia said he's glad the board was able to avoid using herbicides to get rid of the non-native aquatic plants.
"It's a fraction of the cost we were spending on chemicals," he said.
The program is expected to cost less than $20,000 to add 3,000 more carp into the lake, said Pam Dinkle, lake management and project coordinator for TLAC.
Another successful initiative is likely to continue next year. The pump-out program, in which TLAC partnered with SMLA and the Virginia Department of Health, provided sewage removal for 112 boats, performing 213 pump-outs during 26 days last season.
Dinkle recommended that next year TLAC only operate the two trucks and not the health department's sewage pump-out boat for the Royal Flush program.
Board member Ron Miller, who represents Bedford County, said he was concerned that not using the boat could cause some boat owners to illegally dispose of waste into the lake.
"Well, we know what they did in the old days," Miller said.
Camicia said people are more mindful now. "It's a different time than it was 10 or 12 years ago," he said.
The other factor, Iceman said, was that while he shares Miller's concern with the risk of not using the boat, the current boat that is being used is not adequate.
Board member and Bedford County administrator Mark Reeter suggested gradually phasing the boat out. The commission resolved to discuss later whether to continue to offer the boat's pump-out services.
In other news, Dinkle said the group's website is being revamped and will be ready for viewing at the beginning of November The Web address will remain the same.
For more information on TLAC, go to www.sml.us.com.
Weather JournalEarly mix, then ice storm Sunday