LCRA Targets Response to Water Weeds Lake LBJ

LCRA Targets Response to Water Weeds Lake LBJ:

The Lower Colorado River Authority (LCRA) has faced considerable pressure from lakeside community leaders and citizens for what some have seen as a lackluster response to treating water milfoil, seen as a nuisance by property owners along lakes Inks, Marble Falls and LBJ.

LCRA representatives announced on Monday, Feb. 16, a plan to simplify the process of seeking permits and approval from LCRA and Texas Parks & Wildlife Department (TPWD). Both agencies review and approve landowners’ treatment plans for water weeds.

“It’s going to streamline the process for residents wanting to take care of their weeds, giving them a systematic way to do it,” said Bryan Cook, LCRA water quality manager, Wednesday, Feb. 18. “It’s protective of the lake and lets citizens be effective in their treatment.”

The plan divides property along the three lakes into five color-coded zones, each of which is assigned its own treatment schedule. Residents visit the LCRA website and enter their street address to determine their zones.

The water weeds LCRA routinely treats, hydrilla and water hyacinth, pose an operational hazard around dams and power plants. Milfoil, on the other hand, “grows shallower in the coves and doesn’t have the same operational concerns” for LCRA, Cook explained. “But we want to be able to empower residents around the lake to treat their docks, get their boats out safely, and be able to use the shoreline.”

Before the zone system, the process was “cumbersome” because of use restrictions on aquatic herbicides, Cook said. The zone system eliminates the need to notify neighbors of treatment because treatments within a zone are on the same schedule. “Everyone in that zone knows their neighbors might be using herbicides so they may choose not to irrigate or let the grandkids swim in the water at that time,” he said.

For the full story, see Tuesday’s Highlander.

LCRA open houses

To learn more about treatment zones and to talk to LCRA representatives, LCRA will host two open house events for property owners on lakes LBJ, Marble Falls and Inks.

Thursday, Feb. 26, 3-7 p.m. at the Granite Shoals Fire Hall, 8410 W. FM 1431, Granite Shoals; Thursday, March 5, 3-7 p.m. at Quail Point Lodge, 107 Twilight Lane, Horseshoe Bay.

“Our target audience for the open houses is lakeside property owners,” Cook said.

More information is available at www.lcra.org/waterweeds, which has a link that allows residents to determine their zone, as well as an interactive map and application form for herbicidal water weed treatment.

Original Article By: http://www.highlandernews.com/articles/2015/02/23/lcra-targets-response-water-weeds-highland-lakes

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