Time for Fun—and Weeds—on Lake Guntersville

Summer means sun and fun on Lake Guntersville. Alongside the growing anticipation for summer vacation, aquatic plants are starting to make an appearance on Lake Guntersville as well.

To ensure water weeds don’t affect access at developed public recreation areas, the Tennessee Valley Authority’s aquatic plant management teams are already out on the water surveying specific areas of Guntersville Reservoir.

“We want to make sure that public ramps, swim beaches and other access areas stay open for use this summer,” said Dr. Brett Hartis of TVA at a recent meeting of the Lake Guntersville Stakeholders. “We will continue to implement the Lake Guntersville Stakeholder Group management plan along commercial and residential developed shoreline as well as TVA’s management of public, developed shorelines.”

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According to Hartis, TVA continues to strategically manage aquatic plants on Guntersville and other reservoirs to balance user needs. “Our goal is to balance stakeholder needs by managing aquatic plants in areas where they interfere with access, while also preserving the benefits that plants provide, such as habitat for fish and wildlife.”

Guntersville is one of the nation’s best bass fisheries and there is a lot of pressure on Hartis to balance the needs of fisherman and recreation alike. A 2017 University of Tennessee study estimates that recreation on the Tennessee River generates 130,000 jobs and the value of the Tennessee River reservoir system for the region is nearly $12 billion. The estimated value of TVA’s Guntersville Reservoir alone is over $964 million.

“People from all over the country come to fish and boat on Guntersville, making it worth about $1 million on average per shoreline mile,” says Hartis. “We want to manage aquatic plants to balance the revenue and jobs the river brings to Guntersville’s communities.”

TVA survey crews are out weekly to identify and prioritize areas in need of management. You can identify TVA crews and contractors by looking for the TVA plant survey and contractor signage.

Depending on weather conditions, aquatic plant management will occur in the following areas during the week of May 29 through June 1. Weekly schedules and a map of areas to be treated each week can also be found at tva.com/aquatic plants under “Aquatic Weed Treatment Schedules” for each reservoir. 

Guntersville Reservoir Herbicide Treatment Schedule

May 29th – June 1st, 2018

Honeycomb Creek – Honeycomb Park Subdivision, portion of Long Jagger Branch Subdivision, Honeycomb Public Ramp (upstream of 431), Honeycomb Public Ramp (downstream of 431), Half Acre Estates, North Marshall Water

Connors Island Area — Bayshore Estates, TVA Pier, Marshall County Park #1 Day Use Area along US 431, Marshall County Park #1 Public Ramp

Browns Creek — Warrenton Public Ramp, portion of Warrenton Subdivision, Beech Creek Public Ramp, portion of Point of Pines Subdivision, portion of Pine Acres Subdivision, Cherokee Pines Subdivision, Willow Beach Subdivision

Big Spring Creek — Steel Ford Ramp & Day Use, Meadow Wood Subdivision, Lakecrest Subdivision, Big Spring Creek 2nd Addition, portion of Big Spring Creek Subdivision, Bucky Howe Ramp, Piers, and Swim Area, Wyeth Drive Park

Buck Island Area — portion of Buck Island Shores Subdivision

Claysville Area — Lake Guntersville Sailing Club, Playground Shores Subdivision, portion of Pinedale Shores Subdivision

Five Points Area — portion of Star Point Subdivision

Columbus City Area — Seibold Marina, Ossawintha Resort

Mill Creek — portion of Henry Miller Subdivision

Boshart Creek — Boshart Public Ramp, portion of St. Christopher’s Point Subdivision

Mink Creek — Mink Creek Public Ramp

North Sauty Creek — Goosepond Campground

Roseberry Creek — Scottsboro City Park, Jackson County Park, portion of Harrington Hollow Subdivision, portion of Lakeshore Subdivision, portion of Lakepointe Subdivision, portion of Peninsula at Goosepond

B.B. Comer Bridge Area — portion of Section Bluff Subdivision

Town Creek (Jackson County) – Riverland Estates, Creeks Edge Subdivision, Bellefonte Causeway Subdivision (upstream and downstream), Bellefonte Public Ramp

Mud Creek – Mud Creek Public Ramp, Carver’s Day Use Area, portion of Nacoochee Point Subdivision

Only You Can Control the Spread of Aquatic Weeds!

According to TVA, non-native aquatic plant species like hydrilla and milfoil were introduced into the Tennessee Valley by hitching rides on boat trailers or by people dumping fish tanks or water garden plants into the river.

To help control invasive plants:

  1. Keep it Clean—Remove all plant material from boats, trailers, bilges, live wells and any other equipment. This will prevent troublesome aquatic species from being introduced into other TVA reservoirs.
  2. Native Water Gardening Only—Please plant only native species around shorelines. While non-native species like ornamental lilies and water hyacinth are beautiful, they will quickly spread if introduced into the river.
  3. No Dumping Please!—Please refrain from dumping unwanted aquarium or water garden plants into nearby streams and rivers. Dispose of any unwanted plants in the garbage.

Learn more at tva.com/aquaticplants.