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Lake project workers receive surprise donations at meeting

MOORESVILLE — Bob Elliott and Gus Gustafson, who work with the Lake Norman Marine Commission, have been awarded $6,000 from an anonymous source.
Both were acknowledged at Monday night’s Lake Norman Marine Commission meeting for the money they received roughly a month ago.
Elliott was awarded $3,000 for his hard work with the hydrilla management program, which is working to eliminate the fast-growing weed on Lake Norman.
“It made me feel real good to receive the money, it was tremendous,” Elliott said. “I really appreciated it.”
He said that he knew who the contribution was from but he wanted to keep it confidential.
“It’s a local person, that’s all I’ll say,” he said.
The money received will help pay for a consultant for the hydrilla management plan and also assist in buying the carp for next spring.
Gustafson was also very shocked about the contribution.
“I know that Bob Elliott knows who it is, but I didn’t know,” he said.
Gustafson’s money was awarded for his work with the adopt-a-marker program which is working to make the lake a safer place.
“It’s pretty darn nice,” Gustafson said. “It’s an honor.”
Many people are starting to make contributions to the program, and Gustafson is excited about this.
“It’s great that we are getting the word out,” he said.
In other business, Gustafson said the Lake Norman Marine Commission will be sending out a letter to the N.C. Wildlife Resource in order to ask for a replenishment of striped bass.
About 25,000 fish have died since the beginning of July, Gustafson said.
The reason for this large number is the change in water temperature in the summer.
“The water temperature needs to be the mid 70s or less, if the water temperature is not right the fish will not receive enough oxygen,” Gustafson said. “Due to this problem, the oxygen disappears and causes the fish to suffocate.”
Reasons for this problem include the wind shifting and the water getting hot very quickly.
“We are hoping this will be the end of it because it is starting to cool down now,” Gustafson said.
This is a major situation for Gustafson because this is how he makes his living.
“It is very important to our lake that we can fish,” he said. “It is killing my favorite fish, and I know a ton of people who enjoy being out here.”
According to Gustafson this is the worst season he has ever seen.
The next Marine Commission meeting will be held Monday, Sept. 20 instead of Monday, Sept. 13, due to a scheduling conflict.
by Amy Wadsworth

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