February 18, 2018 Meeting Minutes

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July 28, 2017

February 18, 2018 Meeting Minutes

Watts Bar Ecology and Fisheries Council (WBEFC) 

Technical Advisory Group (TAG) Meeting — February 2, 2018 

Attendance: 

Alexander, Dwain

Barnard, Angela

Bartok, Phil

Culvahouse, Martha

Giltnane, Bob

Giroux, Peter

Joseph, Tim

Lamb, Bob

Moody, Janice

Pack, Nancy & Gary

Rodgers, Keith

Sebastian, Doug

1. Introduction/Genesis of WBEFC a. Tim Joseph gave opening remarks and introductions 

2. Counsel Structure a. Tim Joseph indicated the WBEFC Structure is up-to-date.

3. Goals of this Report a. Tim Joseph

i. Tim Joseph said the primary goals of the TAG meeting are to assess where we are with the technical data gathered to-date, create an outline for the WBEFC report, and assign the tasks required to get the WBEFC Report written

ii. Tim said we have a lot of bits of pieces that need to be assembled.

4. Discussion of WBEFC Work Groups

a. Tim said we don’t need to have a discussion of the all the work groups because not all the work groups are involved in this report.

b. Tim said the work groups involved in this report are:

i. Work Group 1 – Funding, Grants, Contracts (Chair: Dwain Alexander),

ii. Work Group 4 – Technical Advisory Group (Chair: Tim Joseph)

iii. Work Group 5 – Insights & Lessons Learned Past Success/Failure (Chair: Phil Bartok)

c. Tim presented a draft outline of the report for discussion.

d. Tim asked each of the work groups involved in this report to give an update:

i. Work Group 1:

1. Duane said he did a great deal of online research checking for possible sources of funding, on the local, state and federal levels.

2. Duane said he created a summary, and WBEFC needed to become a 501c3 to be able to apply for funding; and now the 501c3 is in place.

3. Duane said we needed a better definition as what WBEFC is going to do and the report will address that

4. Duane said WBEFC had gotten donations from members of WBEFC, members of the community, and Roane County Commission.

5. Duane said he attended a funding workshop hosted by Senator Yager, and Duane did not get a lot of information from that workshop. a. Bob Lamb said Tennessee State gave funding to the Tennessee Ocoee River region’s management and funding TVA and rafting companies over the free-flowing whitewater that has generated a flow of tourism dollars for the impoverished area. The funding reimbursed the Tennessee Valley Authority for the cost of power lost when the Polk County river flows freely during the spring, summer and early fall.

ii. Work Group 4:

1. Tim Joseph said he would be the “author” of this report along with the help of everyone else.

2. Tim said he would like to establish who would like to do certain sections of this report.

3. Tim said we need to establish schedule for developing the individual write-ups—date to submit

4. Tim suggested we shoot for a final report date for the end of August.

5. Tim said after we get the report finalized, WBEFC will likely give a presentation to the Roane County Commissioners at the Roane County Court House. This meeting will be opened to the public and run by the Commission. a. Bob Giltnane said he has a concern about the presentation to the Roane County Commissioners.

b. Bob said he was concerned that Meigs and Rhea Counties may not feel the same as Roane County.

c. Bob said he thought Meigs and Rhea Counties may have a different economic base than Roane County.

d. Bob said he thought we should move on this issue quicker because of the exponential growth of these aquatic plants/weeds.

e. Bob said he thinks we should have an emergency effort to make someone say “NO” to a plan with solutions and funding – something we can do for the next 24 months to knock these aquatic plants/weeds to a controllable effort.

i. Tim explained that WBEFC was formed through a 5-member Roane County Commission group called Aquatic Weed Committee.

ii. Tim said this Aquatic Weed Committee said they did not understand aquatic weeds, and that is why the Roane County Aquatic Weed Committee is relying on WBEFC to take the lead on the solution/management of aquatic weeds.

iii. Tim said he would like for the Roane County Commissions to reach out to the other counties on Watts Bar Lake.

iv. Bob Lamb said Meigs County passed a resolution dated December 15, 2016 that requested to TVA to spray for Milfoil in Watts Barand Chickamauga Lakes. 1. Janice Moody emailed a copy of the resolution to this group.

f. Bob Giltnane said he thinks we need to develop a “utility district” not to take care of electricity but rather to treat the aquatic weeds.

g. Bob said there are 5,433 lake homeowners in Roane County. These lake homeowners should be “taxed” to treat the aquatic weeds.

h. Bob said Roane County has herbicide permits and boats.

i. Martha Culvahouse recommended that when WBEFC has a stakeholder’s meeting, WBEFC should advertise that there will be a limited time for anyone to speak.

j. Martha also suggested that if anyone wants to speak, they must be on the agenda.

k. Peter Giroux said he thought it would be a good idea to have someone(s) from this group to drive the public relations with all counties on Watts Bar Lake.

l. Peter said perhaps that is the Group 2, Communications & Public Outreach.

m. Bob Lamb said he thought getting lake homeowners to go to the County’s Property Assessor’s Office and ask that their property values be decreased by 10% because of the aquatic weeds would get the county’s attention.

6. Peter Giroux said we need a “bullet” on this outline to improve the fishing environment. a. Tim said that was already covered under 10.i

Work Group 5:

1. Tim said Phil Bartok has done an “excellent job” putting the Lessons Learned together.

2. Phil said he has a 2018 draft, and it is “work in progress”.

3. Phil said he studied 5 lakes. Phil said these lakes were chosen because they are like Watts Bar Lake; and these lakes are in the South, and are in neighboring states

4. Phil said these lakes are eutrophic. a. Phil said a eutrophic lake is one with an excessive growth of algae, resulting from contamination by nitrogen or phosphorus compounds, such as by laundry detergent containing phosphates, fertilizer run-off from agricultural lands, sanitary sewage, or manure.

5. Phil said the 5 lakes he studied are:

a. Santee Cooper Reservoir which is approximately 170,000 acres:

i. Lake Marion is the largest lake in South Carolina (110,600 acres) and is centrally located within the coastal plain where it is bordered by Clarendon, Calhoun, Berkeley, Orangeburg, and Sumter counties. Lake Marion is the upper most of the two beautiful water bodies that comprise Santee Cooper Reservoir.

ii. Lake Moultrie is the third largest lake in South Carolina covering over 60,000 acres. Lake Moultrie is in Berkeley County, South Carolina, is fed by Lake Marion through a diversion canal. Nearby towns include Moncks Corner, Bonneau, Cross, and St. Stephen.

b. Lake Guntersville which contains 69,100 acres. i. Guntersville Lake is in north Alabama between Bridgeport and Guntersville. The lake stretches 75 miles from Guntersville Dam to Nickajack Dam. It is Alabama’s largest lake at 69,000 acres.

c. Walter G. George Lake which contains 46,000 acres. i. Walter G. George Lake is formed on the Chattahoochee River along the state line between Alabama and Georgia. It is also widely known by the name, Lake Eufaula. 

d. Lake Gaston which contains 20,000 acres. i. Lake Gaston is a hydroelectric reservoir in the eastern United States. Part of the lake is in the North Carolina counties of Halifax, Northampton, and Warren. The part extending into Virginia lies in Brunswick and Mecklenburg counties. Lake Gaston is roughly 35 miles long and covers over 20,000 acres, with 350 miles of shoreline.

e. Watts Bar Lake which contains 39,090 acres. i. Watts Bar Lake is a reservoir on the Tennessee river created by Watts Bar Dam as part of the Tennessee Valley Authority system. Located about midway between Chattanooga and Knoxville, the lake begins as the Tennessee River below Fort Loudon Dam in Lenoir City, Tennessee and stretches 72.4 miles to Watts Bar Dam, near Spring City, Tennessee. The Clinch River connects to the main channel of the lake at mile 568 near Southwest Point in Kingston, Tennessee. The widening of the Clinch by the lake makes that river navigable all the way up to Melton Hill Dam, which is equipped with a navigation lock allowing navigation upstream through Oak Ridge and Clinton. The partially navigable Emory River connects with the Clinch near the TVA’s Kingston Steam Plant just upriver from the meeting with the Tennessee. Including the Clinch and Emory arms, Watts Bar has 722 miles of shoreline and over 39,000 acres of water surface. Minor tributaries include Poplar Creek, Caney Creek, and White’s Creek. The lake contains several large islands, most notably Thief Neck Island, Long Island, half-moon, and Sand Island.

6. Phil said he was unable to find a lot of data/information on Lake Chickamauga or Nickajack Lake.

7. Phil said except for Lake Guntersville, these lakes used an integrated management plan using herbicide, Triploid (Sterile) Grass Carp, and native planting. a. Doug Sebastian has a meeting scheduled for February 15, 2018 with Dr. Brett Hartis, Program Manager, Aquatic Plant Management Program for the Tennessee Valley Authority at Dr. Hartis’ Guntersville office. Doug will ask for an updated estimate of the amount of acreage of aquatic plant growth on Watts Bar Lake; namely an updated “grey scale map”. The previous “grey scale map” was done October 2015.

8. Bob Giltnane also said the miles of shoreline affected are also important to quantify.

9. Tim asked who would like to work with Phil as a core group to develop calculations of aquatic plants/weeds and best practice to manage these aquatic plants/weeds. a. Core Team Members: 

      1. i. Phil Bartok
      2. ii. Bob Giltnane
      3. iii. Peter Giroux
      4. iv. Doug Sebastian
      5. v. Martha Culvahouse said she would be the editor to develop charts and tables

Special Note: The MidSouth Aquatic Plant Management Society’s website is: 

http://www.msapms.org/

Special Note: WBEFC is a member of this Society 

Draft WBEFC Report Outline

1 Watts Bar Lake Ecosystem e. Tim Joseph is responsible. 

5. History of Invasive Aquatic Plant Incursion in the United States a. Phil Bartok is responsible. 

6. Invasive Species of Concern in Watts Bar Lake

a. Angela Barnard is responsible Angela will send information on Triploid (Sterile) Grass Carp and Zebra Mussels to Tim and Janice.

i. Janice emailed that information to this group. 

b. Peter Giroux will contact Gary Chapman about the Asian Silver (Jumping) Carp

7. Options for Reduction and Control of Invasive Aquatic Species–Advantages/Disadvantages and Limitations of each

a. Chemical

i. Tim Joseph is responsible. 

b. Biological

i. Angela Barnard is responsible. 

c. Mechanical

i. Doug Sebastian is responsible. 

8. Insights and Lessons Learned from Regional/Local Lake Efforts to Control/Reduce Incursion a. Phil Bartok is responsible. 9. Ecological Impacts of Invasive Species

a. Littoral Zone Changes

i. Littoral Zone Enhancement Options 

b. Fish Habitat Impacts

i. Fishery Enhancement Options

1. Tim Joseph is responsible with help from Peter Giroux.

10. Sport Fishery and Aquatic Plants

a. Tim Joseph and Peter Giroux are responsible.

11. Property Value Impact of Invasive Aquatic Plant Presence 

a. Bob Giltnane Bob Lamb and Keith Rodgers are responsible.

a. Shoreline Economic Value of Watts Bar Lake 

b. Potential Economic Impact of Do Nothing Option

i. Bob Giltnane, Bob Lamb, and Keith Rodgers are responsible.

12. Recreational Impact of Invasive Aquatic Plant Presence 

Special Note: Look at https://www.tva.gov/Newsroom/Valley-Lakes-Worth-Billions 

13. RECOMMENDATIONS

a. Introduction/limitations

i. Tim Joseph is responsible. 

14. Chemical

a. Short/Long Term 

b. Costs (Discuss Costs in Phil’s Group)

c. Responsibility i. Alabama Power 

ii. TVA – Present Funding Level 

d. RECOMMENDATION i. Tim Joseph is responsible. 

Special Note: Alabama Power recognizes the ecological importance of aquatic vegetation in company reservoirs. Aquatic vegetation will be managed for the optimization of all uses of reservoirs in compliance with local, state and federal laws and regulations. Aquatic plant control will be considered if vegetation, look at https://apcshorelines.com/aquatic/ 

15. Biological

a. Sterile Grass Carp 

b. Short/Long Term Advantages 

c. Costs (Discuss Costs in Phil’s Group)

d. Responsibility 

e. RECOMMENDATIONS

i. Angela Barnard is responsible. 

16. Mechanical

a. Home Owners Options 

b. Commercial 

c. RECOMMENDATIONS

i. Doug Sebastian is responsible.

17. FUNDING OPTIONS

a. Other Lakes Funding Sources 

b. State/County Funding 

c. Federal Grants 

d. TVA 

e. Lake Property Taxation 

f. Lake Recreation Tax 

g. Boating Tag/Tax 

h. Fishing Tournament Fee 

i. Fishing Merchandise Tax 

j. OTHER 

Core Team Members: 

Duane Alexander

Janice Moody

Peter Giroux

Bob Giltnane (Consultant)

18. Toxic Cyanobacteria killing American Bald Eagles 

19. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY 

20. ROANE COUNTY ENVIRONMENTAL REVIEW BOARD PARTNERSHIP/COLABORATION 

DATE REPORTS SHOULD BE SENT TO TIM AND JANICE IS FRIDAY, MARCH 9, 2018 

NEXT MEETING March 23, 2018

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