Invasive water plants causing problems on Watts Bar Lake

by Steve Ahillen

Dr. Brett Hartis, TVA Aquatric Plant Management Specialist, speaks about aquatic invasive plant species management.
Too many water plants can really mess up a lake.

Brett M. Hartis’ job as manager of Tennessee Valley Authority's Aquatic Plant Management Program is battling to keep a balance of healthy plant growth on TVA’s 49 reservoirs.

“We have two sides of the equation,” he said from aboard an airboat Thursday on Watts Bar Reservoir. “Some don’t want any plants and some don’t want any plants to be managed. Neither of those is a good balance or leads to a healthy reservoir.”

Another concern is how wading or boating through big globs of green gunk can spoil the experience for a family out to have fun on the lake.

“The main problem is recreational use, anything from fishing to water skiing,” Hartis said.

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