Smith Mountain Lake Gets Tough on Hydrilla

July 22nd, 2011

smith mountain lake hydrilla case studyWe are very excited to be working with our friends at Smith Mountain Lake to assist them with the overall lake management program for nuisance and invasive aquatic vegetation management. See more by reading the story below.

TLAC pulls out the big guns on hydrilla, Written by Laurie Edwards

The war on weeds is ramping up this year at Smith Mountain Lake. At its Tuesday meeting, the Tri-County Lake Administrative Commission voted to expand its use of systemic herbicides on hydrilla, a fast-spreading invasive aquatic plant.Three locations totaling 45 acres will be treated with a systemic, rather than a contact, later this month when TLAC’s aquatic vegetation contractor applies herbicide around the lake. The sites, which will carry water-uses restrictions for one week after treatment, are near Land’s End, Highland Lake and The Cottages at Contentment Island.Bob Camicia, chairman of TLAC’s Environmental Committee, told the board the contact herbicide is an instant kill, but does not affect the weed’s roots. The systemic, while more effective, carries a steeper cost. Camicia said it will cost TLAC an additional $21,000 this year.”It is expensive, it’s a big bite, but in our estimation, it’s time,” he said.A study last year indicated little tuber growth in areas where systemics were used; there was a “massive” amount of tubers in areas treated with contact herbicides, said Camicia. Tubers, part of the root system, can remain dormant in the soil for years before developing into a new weed. They also can be washed into new areas, creating new weed beds. Camicia said this year’s tuber study will get under way in about two weeks.Camicia said the recommendation to treat the three areas with a systemic came from SOLlitude Lake Management, a company hired to advise TLAC on how to better treat non-native vegetation.Camicia said the areas were chosen because the water is relatively calm so the herbicide won’t wash out of the treated coves. Unlike contact herbicide, which takes about 30 minutes to work, systemics require 30 days to be effective, said Camicia.SOLitude also recommended TLAC cycle off the systemic herbicide every five years to prevent hydrilla from developing a resistance to the chemicals. Camicia said if weeds are identified in the areas during an off year, contractors will use a contact herbicide.In other TLAC news:Area residents who see potentially noxious weeds growing in the lake can call the weed hotline (719-WEED). A volunteer will be dispatched to assess the situation.A resident has applied for three no-wake markers near Highland Shores. Stan Smith, TLAC’s Navigation Committee chairman, said the application has been approved by the committee and the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, and has been sent to the U.S. Coast Guard for final approval.

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