Invasive water plants causing problems on Watts Bar Lake

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.

Read more at Knox News

8 Comments on “Invasive water plants causing problems on Watts Bar Lake

  1. TVA needs to be managing this problem! And yes it is a problem! It spoils our beautiful lakes and river each summer. It spoils recreation use. Each year it gets worse and nothing seems to be done about it. By August our waterways look awful.

    • The grass is not a problem people out there for recreational use can go to the deeper water where there isn’t any. Fishermen spend way more money for this lake than somebody out there pulling a tube so my opinion we should try to have a better habitat for fish than worry about pulling a tube and what not.

      • Im not real sure where u get that info. Do fishermen frequently eat at the restaurants on the lake? Do they rent slips at the local marinas? How often do fishermen buy gas on the water? How many fishermen actually rent cabins and motels on the water? What would be your guess on fishermen vs recreational boaters that own lake front homes?

        • Thank you! I know we spend a ton of money on slip rent year-round for our 50-footer. Not including what we spend on the river for fuel and food.

        • Thank you ! I know we spend thousands a year on slip rent ,buying fuel on the water, eating at restaurants,ect.

      • Pulling a tube would be in deep water, by someone who can afford a boat.. I guess if you can’t afford a boat, you shouldn’t enjoy the lake from the shore??.. smh.. sounds about right, in your mind anyway.

  2. Josh, the fisherman contribute about zero to the local lake economy. They trailer in – use public boat ramps – and buy their gas in town. The folks that own property on the lake and river have heavily invested into the Tennessee River Basin and support the local businesses and communities. I don’t think there is a clean resolution to this problem but, the vegetation could destroy the ecosystem even for the Bass and Striper transients…

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