Aquatic Vegetation Management
Aquatic Vegetation Management at Smith Mountain Lake
In 2001, when non-native aquatic vegetation species was first identified in Smith Mountain Lake, the Tri-County Lakes Administrative Commission talked with other local agencies, state and local government offices and found that there was no office or program in place to address this task. TLAC recognized the importance of managing the non-native aquatic vegetation infestations promptly.
Since that first year, the counties (Bedford, Franklin and Pittsylvania) bordering Smith Mountain Lake, through the TLAC office, have managed an Aquatic Vegetation Program. This program has focused on education/outreach (Protect SML Campaign), early detection (surveys and monitoring efforts), rapid response through control and management (herbicide treatments and stocking of triploid grass carp). Additionally, TLAC staff thoroughly researched how aquatic vegetation species are managed at other bodies of water in nearby States, as well as what other potential invasive threats should be of concern to Smith Mountain Lake.
TLAC’s program has been revised throughout the years to continually improve the program and to be certain that the funds are being used in the most effective and cost-efficient manner possible. With the introduction of triploid grass carp into Smith Mountain Lake in early 2013, a vast decrease in problematic invasive aquatic vegetation infestations has been noted.
For more information on specific portions of the aquatic vegetation program, please refer to the individual website pages for that topic (e.g. surveys, treatments, reporting).
Historical Highlights from TLAC’s Aquatic Vegetation Program
- 2001 – First non-native aquatic vegetation species identified – Brittle Naiad
- 2002 – TLAC had the first aquatic vegetation survey of Smith Mountain Lake completed
First herbicide treatments completed – Curlyleaf pondweed
- 2003 – Virginia Invasive Species Council created through legislation*
TLAC’s Lake Management and Project Coordinator was appointed to the Council’s Working Group by the Secretary of Natural Resources
- 2004 – Protect Smith Mountain Lake, a TLAC education/outreach program, was initiated
Boater brochures, resident brochures, tackle box stickers, “Stop Aquatic Hitchhikers” signs for boat ramps, and a Protect SML column in local newspapers
- 2005 – TLAC’s Fertilizer Education program was initiated.
- 2006 – The Virginia Invasive Species Management Plan was finalized.*
- 2008 – TLAC established a (Hydrilla) Tuber Study Program in coordination with Ferrum College and the Smith Mountain Lake Association
- 2008 – TLAC and the Smith Mountain Lake Association established a partnership for a volunteer monitoring program
- 2008 – Federal and State Funding Assistance Received
Federal grant funds received – $50,000
State grant funds received – $39,505
- 2011 – Over 800 pre-treatment notifications were mailed to residents for the treatment of 156 acres with Hydrilla infestations and 17 acres with Curlyleaf pondweed
- 2012 – Virginia Pollutant Discharge Elimination Systems (VPDES) requirements* became effective.
- 2012 – TLAC developed and adopted a revised Smith Mountain Lake Aquatic Vegetation Management Plan which included the introduction of triploid (sterile) grass carp into the lake.
- 2013 – TLAC had 6,000 triploid (sterile) grass carp stocked in Smith Mountain Lake
- 2013 – TLAC updated the original brochures used in the Protect SML Campaign and began distributing the new materials through public events and the website.
- 2014 – 2022 TLAC’s introduction of 6,000 triploid (sterile) grass carp in 2013 continued to adequately to control the invasive aquatic vegetation in Smith Mountain Lake.
*These are Commonwealth of Virginia initiatives
Press ReleaseUpdated: March 23, 2021 The Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources (VDWR),...