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Aquatic weeds consume Houston Lake

Houston Lake is being taken over by unwelcome visitors.

An aquatic weed problem has made enjoying the lake difficult, and the community wants to do something about it.

The water weeds are making this lake feel more like a swamp.

Jack Nash, chairman of the Houston Lake Alliance, says this has been the worst year yet.

"Something had to be done," he says. "If it didn't, then our lake was going to be completely taken over."

Nash says this weed problem really started about four years ago. The Department of Natural Resources has come up plan to get rid of some of the vegetation using an herbicide called Clipper.

The herbicide comes at a price of $35,000. The Alliance hopes to reach that goal by September 12th. All of the money would need to come from private donations.

Nash says eradicating the weeds will allow people to take pride in the lake again.

"I live on it," he explains. "It means a great deal to me, and I know it means a great deal to the people of Houston County. I think it's a very, very worthwhile cause."

If something is not done, it might cause lake property values to decline.

"Other lakes that have really just been devastated with weeds. It has caused their property values to go down, and that's something no one wants," says Nash.

If the thought of chemicals makes you feel uneasy, the DNR says it is harmless, because it dissipates within two hours. Nash says you could use the herbicide, and then two hours later use the lake water to water your lawn with no problems.

The Cabomba plant is the main culprit.

It gets tangled up in the boat motors, prevents a lot of fishing because it gives the fish too many places to hide, and swimming might seem more like navigating the jungle.

Tim Bailey is a regular at Houston Lake, but he wished things were cleaner when he and his son go kayaking.

"We like to take the boats out, you know, a little hydrotherapy," says Bailey. "But the amount of weeds and aquatic vegetation kind of limits the fishing and what type of lures you can use."

With the right amount of funding, a day at Houston lake might be a little more pleasant.

The meeting is open to the public and will take place Monday, August 25th at the Houston County Country Club at 7:00 pm.

Follow 13WMAZ's Karli Barnett on Twitter @KarliBarnett.


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