More than 60 volunteers traveled the waters of Lake Gaston from Sept. 1 to Nov. 11 to determine the plant life growing in Lake Gaston with its annual Fall Vegetation Survey. The volunteer survey results determined the topics of last month’s Lake Gaston Stakeholders ZOOM meeting of vested parties of the lake, North Carolina State University, and others.

The fall survey estimated that lyngbya impacts 1,285 acres on Lake Gaston. NCSU extension agent Jessica Baumann revealed a favorable report of the 2022 results of lyngbya treatments in Lake Gaston. Approximately 375 acres of lyngbya were treated for one year. Those sites found a 16% reduction in the invasive plant. Areas with two years of treatment show a 30% reduction. LGSB Secretary Susie Deshenes recorded a positive impact on fish in the meeting minutes.

“They are seeing fish spawning beds come back into the treated habitats,” Deshenes wrote. “The 2022 survey showed 1285 acres of lyngbya, a slight reduction from last year. Looking at the charts of lyngbya present over the past 11 years this is one of the only years that acreage hasn’t increased since 2014. The recommendation is to treat 500 acres depending on budgeting.”

The LGSB expressed concern regarding lyngbya treatments in areas of water depth of five feet or less due to the potential impact on the Tidewater Mucket population. The freshwater mussel is prevalent throughout the lake. The Tidewater Mucket and Lyngbya are included in future LGSB research plans.

During her PowerPoint presentation, Baumann recommended the exploration of cold water and new chemical treatment protocols for lyngbya.

Effective hydrilla treatments in recent years led to low tuber density in the 2021 report. The Board decided to focus on more pressing issues last year. Baumann told the LGSB the latest survey determined a slight increase in hydrilla acreage in the lake. She recommended 166 acres get targeted for treatment this year. Baumann recommends Grass Carp not be added to Lake Gaston to battle hydrilla.


North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission Water Enhancement Coordinator Mark Fowlkes submitted a five-year revegetation management plan for Lake Gaston. He aims to improve the physical habitat for sport fish and to manage the spread of what he described as nuisance vegetation.

LGSB Chair Pete Deschenes said all the TAG recommendations unanimously passed during the TAG meeting. During its March meeting, he will present the recommendations to the Lake Gaston Weed Control Council.