Controlling aquatic weeds - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Controlling aquatic weeds

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June 8, 2004

Dougherty County - If you like working out in your yard, you'll probably agree that weeds are a nuisance, but they are even more of a problem on waterways.

A team of experts will hit the Flint River Wednesday to get rid of the weeds that can clog your boat's propeller.

An aquatic field of pretty yellow flowers, but looks can be deceiving. Georgia Power Biologist Tom Broadwell says, "We hope that it has not expanded much beyond that."

Beyond the yellow primrose, another aggressive weed taking over the water. Broadwell holds a piece and adds, "It feels scratchy. It has spines under the leaves."

Scratchy underwater plants called hydrilla growing near the Flint River Dam. He adds, "It certainly has done the same thing in Lake Seminole which is the next reservoir downstream."

Tiny pieces of hydrilla can spread rapidly, like Kudzu on water, but unlike the weeds in your front yard, you can't pull them to get rid of them. Broadwell laughs, "If we had 50,000 people out here pulling."

Instead of thousands of people there will be a few workers from Georgia Power. Broadwell says, "It's a serious problem, normally we would do it ourselves." Department of Natural Resources will be on board to spray herbicides on the 25-acre area.

As far as health concerns, Broadwell adds, "It's not a problem at all, they can fish and swim as soon we're finished." Four treatments costing $25,000.

Notices have been sent out to residents.

They'll be spraying Wednesday and Thursday, downstream of the Sportsman Club and 2 tenths of a mile upstream of the Flint River Dam.

Georgia Power and DNR will spray more herbicides in October.

posted at 5:45PM by kathryn.simmons@walb.com