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Recently, a news blog seen by some LKG residents identified Lake Gaston as the “North Carolina Lake Number 1 Most Leech Infested In The Country.” The identified author, Melanie Day, goes on to state “new data has a North Carolina lake as the most leech-infested in the country.” However, no such data is actually presented. In fact, the original blog by “Animals Around the Globe” that was used as the supposed source, titled “The 6 Most Leech Infested Lakes in the United States,” does not even identify Lake Gaston as one of the six most leech-infested lakes in the country. The article, written by Dona Van Eeden from South Africa, does not even really discuss Lake Gaston! A few months ago, a similar blog identified Lake Gaston as having the “cleanest water in North Carolina.” Similar to the article on leeches, it may be entertaining reading but presents zero scientific (or even non-scientific) data for such a claim. The bottom line is this type of “news” should not be considered reliable as in many cases it may be based on nothing more than a web search to see how many instances a topic is noted in social media or other websites, and has no scientific analysis or technical research.

Lake Gaston certainly has leeches, but there is no reliable information to indicate there are any more or less than any similar lake across the country or the state. Here are some facts about leeches:

      There are more than 650 species of leeches worldwide with about 80 species in North America and about 20 of those found in North Carolina.

      Leeches are a natural component of lake and pond ecosystems and the presence of leeches is in no way associated with polluted water.

      Leeches provide food for some types of fish and aquatic birds, as well as turtles, snakes, and crayfish.

      Leeches are found in a variety of freshwater aquatic environments, including lakes, ponds, marshes, springs, and slow streams, typically found in the area along the shoreline in areas protected from wave action.

      Leech bites are harmless to humans although they may become infected by bacteria.

Keeping your shoreline clear of organic material such as leaves and other debris can help reduce leech habitat. Chemicals should never be put in the lake in an effort to kill leeches as it may be a violation of federal/state clean water laws and the Dominion Shoreline Management Plan. It can also result in killing fish, birds, and other wildlife and may harm humans and pets recreating in the lake.

The moral of the story is when reading an online “news” article, be sure to consider the source. Or as a very smart person said, just because you read it on the web doesn’t mean it's true!

 

Article written by John Franz
LGA Lake Environment Committee Chairperson

Our friends at the Lake Gaston Water Safety Council have upped their game by installing a water safety message in a high traffic area at the lake.  The next time you cross the Eaton Ferry bridge, look on the south side just east of the bridge to see a most important and basic lifesaving message: “Life Jackets Float - People Don’t.”   Placement by the marinas and restaurants will promote water safety on an ongoing basis. 

An amazing weather weekend just passed at Lake Gaston.  

We received a heads up from Dominion Energy last Friday  regarding anticipated high energy demand with the projected cold weekend temperatures    They anticipated the demand could be regulated and keep water levels below 200.5   Thus, we didn't send out a high water alert.   


This morning we received the good news notice below from Dominion Energy.

Lake Gaston topped out at 200.1 and the river downstream from Rapids never got to flood stage.  Levels were close but the operators were able to provide the power requested and keep everything within limits.

Dominion exceeded the all-time peak demand in our service area on Christmas Eve.

Great job  Dominion Energy!

LGA Board of Directors 

 

Dominion Energy encourages use of their inquiry portal which is routinely checked.  Please bookmark This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  

Our last meeting of the year is Wednesday, December 7.  If you would like to know what the LGA has been up to this year or plans for next year, this meeting is for you.  President Brian Goldsworthy is our speaker and although he serves until the June Annual Meeting, this is his one chance to put a bow on the past 18 months.

This is also the meeting we present the gifts from the toy collection boxes to John 3:16. 

Meeting begins at 9:30 at the Lake Gaston Baptist Church (across from the Subway restaurant).