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Boaters cite poor markers

CORNELIUS – A concerned citizen came to the Marine Commission Monday evening with a petition.
“There is a problem in the water with non-authorized placement of buoys,” said Dick Edwardson of Gastonia. “They are deteriorating, and some are broken in half – it is a hazard to boaters.”
His petition had signatures of 150 boaters on the lake who feel that all unauthorized non-wake buoys should be removed immediately.
“We boaters would like to see an action plan by the marine commission to take care of the obstacles in the waterway,” Edwardson said.
Rob Digh, chairman of the board, said this issue is a concern. A subcommittee may be formed to tackle the issue.
“It is illegal to put no-wake buoys in Lake Norman without approval from the Lake Norman Marine Commission,” said Executive Director Bob Elliott.
Commissioner Terry Davis also agreed it was a problem, but said it will involve money to retract the illegal buoys out.
The weed called Brazillian elodia, which was found in Lake Norman after floodwaters caused by Hurricane Frances is another problem that has been brought to the lake.
Freezing the lake might be an option in attempting to remove the weed.
Brazillian elodia, a non-native species, can easily take root and reproduce quickly in local lakes.
An update was also given on the hydrilla, another weed which has infested Lake Norman.
With the new found weed of Brazillian elodia and also parrotfeather, a long range plan with Duke Power will be reviewed.
Due to the excessive amount of flooding caused by Hurricane Frances, more grass carp may be needed to help in removing the weeds.
The board also discussed their plans for next month, where they will sponsor a meeting on the relicensing process, including information that will go into the Duke Energy license.
Vicki Taylor, president of the Catawba-Wateree Relicensing Coalition will help review some of the issues.
They include recreation, lake levels, land conservation and shoreline management.
The relicensing process is scheduled to be finalized in 2006.
A meeting at the Cornelius Town Hall on Jan. 27 at 6:30 p.m. will be held to see how the process works.
This meeting will help provide background before the next marine commission meeting which will be held Feb. 14 at 7 p.m. at the Cornelius Town Hall.

by Amy Wadsworth

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