The Annual Lake Gaston Volunteer Vegetation Survey Has Kicked Off, Volunteers Needed!

It’s that time of year again!  With everything around us looking a bit different these days, the annual Lake Gaston Volunteer Vegetation Survey remains a constant! 

From September 1st to October 31st, volunteers’ will be documenting aquatic vegetation, both good and bad, around the entire 350 miles of Lake Gaston shoreline.  This survey is a collaborative effort between North Carolina State University (NCSU) and volunteers from the Lake Gaston Association (LGA), but anyone is welcome to come join in on the fun!

The data collected during this survey is used to identify the extent of nuisance species such as Hydrilla and Lyngbya, as well as, beneficial species such as Water Willow and Eel Grass. 

The information collected during this survey goes directly into the management plans for these aquatic species. Therefore, volunteering for the survey is a great way for homeowners to actively participate in the management of aquatic plants around their shoreline!

In order to volunteer, all you really need is a boat and a few hours to spend on the lake! The shoreline is divided into survey sites, but volunteers are able to choose sites that are most convenient for them.

Prior to the survey, volunteers are issued a handheld tablet in order to collect data and equipment to sample submerged vegetation (basically a rake head on a rope). The equipment can be used from any water vessel and volunteers don’t have to be an expert at identifying aquatic plants to participate!

You will be provided with a plant ID book that will cover most of the plants that you will likely encounter at Lake Gaston.  Don’t worry, if you are new to the survey we will make sure you feel completely comfortable before sending you out on the lake!!

If you are interested in participating or have questions regarding this year’s survey, please contact Jessica Baumann, Extension Associate for Lake Gaston with NC State University’s Aquatic Plant Management Program, at . 

Submitted by: Jessica Baumann, Extension Associate for the NCSU Aquatic Plant Management Program