Lake Environment Committee

Maintaining the environmental well being of Lake Gaston

We are already beginning to plan for our 2023 Aquatic Vegetation Survey. This year we will be starting in August.

The objective is to document aquatic vegetation, both good and bad along the entire 350 miles of shoreline.

This survey is an important tool that determines how to keep Lake Gaston healthy for swimming, boating, fishing, and recreational enjoyment.

1. You will need access to a boat, kayak, or jet ski and at least a few hours to spend on the lake.

2. The shoreline is divided into survey sections and volunteers can choose sites close to home.

3. Equipment to be provided:

a. Handheld electronic tablet for data collection

b. Double-sided Rake with rope

c. Plant ID booklet that will cover most of the plants you will encounter at Lake Gaston

d. Training will be provided through several online videos that will explain the vegetation survey in detail and provide tips for aquatic plant identification.

Sign up now and let us know where and when you can help out.

Go directly to the Electronic Form to Volunteer: https://forms.gle/JaBqTo7bqcqHaBDk9

Once again this June, Volunteers from the Lake Gaston Association will be “hands on” to enhance habitat on Lake Gaston.  Since 2013, volunteers have been working with NC State University Department of Crop Science, NC Wildlife Resource Commission and the Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources to enhance native aquatic vegetation on Lake Gaston.

The Lake Gaston Weed Control Council has been working for over thirty years using drawdowns, herbicides, and triploid grass carp to control invasive vegetation (primarily hydrilla) at Lake Gaston. As recent as 2006, hydrilla infestations were found on 3,000 acres.   Control measures are now proving successful with recent surveys showing hydrilla to be found on approximately 100 acres. 

Biologists see the need for native vegetation to fill the void left from hydrilla control. Fenced in areas, called exclosures or cages, are constructed to protect and develop colonies of native vegetation.  The cages protect the newly planted vegetation from being eaten by herbivores, such as turtles and grass carp. Native vegetation provides habitat for fish and waterfowl, reduces shoreline erosion, anchors sediment and improves water quality.

This June 13th - 15th, volunteers will once again repair previously constructed cages, harvest and replant native vegetation and construct  new cages at one or two locations. LGA will provide lunch over the three day event. The Lake Gaston Weed Control Council and the Sport Fish Restoration Program provides funding.

Dates/time and meeting locations Are:

  • Tuesday - June 13th (9am) at Granite Hall Shores: Shore Dr, Boydton, VA 23917
  • Wednesday - June 14th (9am) at Poplar Creek Ramp: 10450 Hwy 903, Bracey, VA 23919
  • Thursday - June 15th (9am) at Salmons Landing: 129 Salmons Landing Rd, Littleton, NC 27850 


Contact Wally Sayko,  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  (434) 774-0715


The Lake Gaston Weed Control Council (LGWCC) continues to fund herbicide treatments based upon recommendations from a Technical Advisory Group with support from the Lake Gaston Stakeholders Group. Approximately 375 acres of Lyngbya (Black Mat Algae) will be treated in 2023.

Aqua Services, Inc. Aqua Services Lake & Pond Management | (asilakemanagement.com) will be treating Lyngbya  on the following dates: 

April 17 -20th 

May 15-18th

June 12-15th

July 17-20th

August 14-17th and

September 11-14th 

The products to be used are Captain XTR, Cutrine Ultra, and AMP.  There are no swimming, irrigation, or fish consumption restrictions.

Here is a link to maps showing the specific Lyngbya treatment areas: https://arcg.is/1DTPL0


PLM Lake and Land Management Corp. www.plmcorp.net  was once again selected as the application contractor for Hydrilla treatments. No specific treatment areas have been designated at this time for Hydrilla. Should infestations occur, treatments will be scheduled.

LGA volunteers participated this past fall to survey the entire 350 miles of Lake Gaston shoreline. This was a tremendous effort and “hats off” to all those who participated.

60 volunteers contributed over 400 hours surveying 6,000 sites.  This level of sampling is comparable to past years.

75% of sites surveyed contained some form of aquatic vegetation. The aquatic plant community was made up of 63% emergent species, 9% submergent species, 4% floating leaf species, and 23% algal species. Water willow made up the largest percent of the overall vegetation at 44% and has consistently been the most abundant species found throughout the lake since 2018. The most abundant species, water willow, lyngbya, and chara, were all well distributed throughout the lake.  

Hydrilla is still located throughout the lake, primarily found in very shallow water, small and patchy sites. Standing acreage of hydrilla is estimated to be 161 acres. Tuber bank surveys show an almost undetectable level with a slightly higher density in Lizard and Hawtree Creeks.

Lyngbya was found at 27% of surveyed sites and is estimated to cover 1285 acres.  Lyngbya is the second most prevalent species and has displayed a steady overall increase since 2014.   

These results were present to the Technical Advisory Group or TAG on February 13, 2023.  TAG then made recommendations for integrated management including Grass Carp stocking, revegetation with natives, and Aquatic Herbicide treatments to the Stakeholders Group on February 22nd, and the Lake Gaston Weed Control Council (LGWCC) on March 2nd. Members of the LGA Lake Environment Committee are active participants in this management process.

The report states, Continued yearly surveying of Lake Gaston's aquatic plant community is recommended to monitor growth and distribution in both the native and beneficial communities, as well as, noxious and harmful species.

Thanks again to all who volunteer to make this process successful.   Your work is critical to keeping our lake environment healthy!

Here is a link to the presentation that Jessica Baumann, NCSU Extension Associate made to the Stakeholders:  http://www.lgwcc.org/pdfFiles/MeetingMinutes/stakeholdersMeetingMinutes-02-21-2023.pdf


The Lake Gaston Association, in partnership with the North Carolina Wildlife Resource Commission, NC State Aquatic Plant Management Program, Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources, Dominion Energy, NC B.A.S.S. and VA B.A.S.S. Conservation have developed a new 5-year Operational Habitat Enhancement Plan for Lake Gaston.(see the plan here)

 This is a commitment by all partners to continue habitat enhancement efforts on Lake Gaston.

 The objective is to improve physical habitat for sport fishes by diversifying and establishing self-sustaining native aquatic plant communities while helping to prevent the spread of nuisance aquatic plants. The plan includes establishing new re-vegetation sites, maintaining existing sites, and establishing new fish attractor sites. We hope to improve physical habitat for fish and wildlife while suppressing Hydrilla and Lyngbya growth by encouraging reestablishment of native plants in areas where they do not currently exist. 

There are currently 14 revegetation sites that include multiple planted areas. Aquatic vegetation has successfully expanded well outside these planted areas and will continue to thrive with continued cage maintenance and planting. Each year volunteers build new cages, repair cages and plant native aquatic vegetation. This year partners worked 531 hours on the project and have worked over 4,130 hours since 2015. While revegetation efforts take time and patience, this project has been a success because of the determination and hard work put in from the Lake Gaston community and its’ partners.