1.0 Overview

The accidental introduction of exotic vegetation has resulted in the proliferation of several nuisance aquatic weeds in Lake Gaston and Roanoke Rapids Lake. Although there are some ancillary aquatic habitat benefits to these species, over-abundance of the weeds can result in significant reduction in the recreational quality of some portions of the lakes. Of greatest concern are the areas in and around public and private swimming areas, docks, boat landings and channels that provide ingress and egress to these structures.

2.0 State Regulation

Since portions of Lake Gaston fall within the boundaries of both North Carolina and Virginia, the regulations of both states for application of aquatic herbicides have been reviewed. The following are conclusions of the regulations:

1. In both states, the water in the lakes is considered to be "state property" by the state. As a result, the states are responsible for ensuring water quality and co-managing the fishery.

2. The bottom of the lake and the shoreline within the project boundary are owned by Dominion. Dominion is responsible to FERC to ensure proper management of aquatic and terrestrial resources within the project boundary.

3. Neither state allows for herbicide treatment in its waters unless the treatment is performed by a licensed applicator.

4. If an individual or homeowner association applies a weed control chemical in state waters and / or on Dominion land, they open themselves to potential prosecution. Penalties may be assessed including state fines, costs of mitigation for environmental damage, possible loss of construction and use permits from, and / or civil action by Dominion.

3.0 Lake Gaston Weed Control Council

In 1985 the Lake Gaston Weed Control Council was formed for the primary purposes of research, education, control and/or eradication of undesirable aquatic weeds in Lake Gaston. The Council is comprised of 3 persons from each of the 5 counties surrounding the lake. Funding for the council comes from both the public and private sectors. The Weed Control Council is responsible for contracting and overseeing aquatic weed herbicide applications and various other methods of weed control in the Lake. Typically, the Weed Control Council will contract an applicator from one to five-year contracts to treat nuisance aquatic vegetation.

4.0 Guidelines for Private Weed Control Application

1. No unlicensed or unregistered individual or group may apply aquatic weed control chemicals within the Lake Gaston or Roanoke Rapids Lake project boundaries.

2. If an individual or group (i. e. homeowners association) desires to apply chemical weed control in the area between their extended side property lines or within a subdivision cove(s) by a registered applicator other than the Weed Council's current contractor, Dominion must be notified at least 5 working days prior to application.

3. Notification of intention to treat shall be made to Dominion. Dominion may be contacted at (252) 535-6161. The following information is required:
a. Name of home / property owner
b. Phone number
c. Location to be treated
c.1 Subdivision
c.2 Address
c.3 Lot number
d. Name of Contractor applying chemical control
e. Phone number of contractor
f. Type of herbicide to be used
g. Date of anticipated herbicide application.
g. Application area (ft2).
h. Plant species targeted.
i. Treatment chemical.

4. Dominion shall relay information to the Weed Council contractor to ensure the area treated by the private contractor is not "double treated".

5. No native aquatic vegetation (e.g., water willow, cattails, reeds, etc.) may be removed from the lake or shoreline by either mechanical or chemical methods without a Construction and Use Permit from Dominion. (See Construction and Use Permit guidelines for clearing and re-vegetation requirements).