Aquatic Weeds FAQs

Get answers to the most frequently asked questions about aquatic weeds, how Georgia Power is treating them, and their potential impact on Lake Sinclair.

What is Georgia Power going to do about the weeds in the lake?

We manage nearly 1,400 miles of shoreline statewide. Our goal is to keep our public access areas open and primary navigation channels clear.

As part of our strategic program to accomplish our goal, Georgia Power treats the areas where our experts tell us aquatic herbicide treatment is most effective to deter the spread of weeds.

Does Georgia Power treat weeds around private docks?

We don’t treat around private docks unless the area is targeted as part of our strategic program. Starting in May 2018, we treated the Beaver Dam Creek area twice for hydrilla. Some of the areas at the north end of the lake will be included in our strategic program in 2019.

With 417 miles of shoreline around Lake Sinclair (that’s further than a road trip from Milledgeville, Georgia to Orlando, Florida), lake management issues that don’t affect power generation or regulatory compliance, such as dredging, debris/litter removal, and treating aquatic nuisance plants around docks, are handled through our permitting programs for lake residents (no permitting fee required), and volunteer activities such as lake clean-ups.    

What can lake residents do?

  • Take advantage of the Herbicide Treatment Permit Program Georgia Power developed with the Georgia Department of Natural Resources
  • There is not a fee for the permits
  • Get a local licensed applicator to identify what type of invasive plants you have and what herbicide will work best
  • An applicator must have a Georgia Department of Agriculture applicator license in the Aquatics category. 
  • Fill out an application. Once approved, the contractor is responsible for notifying your neighbors before applying the herbicides.
  • Groups of lake residents have gone in together to apply for multiple permits to treat entire coves

Can we swim or irrigate right after the treatment is done?

Some herbicides have water use restrictions associated with the label; the applicator is responsible for communicating water use restrictions to each resident.

Is the herbicide harmful to my pets if they drink out of the lake?

The applicator is best-suited to and responsible for communicating water use restrictions according to the warning labels on each chemical applied.

What can others do?

  • Our permit program is open to applications from Local governments, businesses, non-profit organizations in addition to lake residents.
  • The Georgia Department of Natural Resources has an Aquatic Nuisance Plants Management Plan that focuses on communication but also has a lot of valuable information on invasive plants.

How do aquatic plants affect hydro-generation at Sinclair Dam or Wallace Dam?

We have not seen any effects at Wallace Dam (Lake Oconee) or Sinclair Dam (Lake Sinclair).

How do invasive plants get in the lake?

They are often moved as “aquatic hitchhikers.” Weeds from one lake caught on a boat trailer or prop “hitch-hike” to another lake when the boat is launched; also birds can move plants between body’s of water.

Can I pull up the plants or dig them up during the next drawdown to get rid of them?

When pieces of the plant break off they can easily float away and take root at another location. Dredging permits may be an option for appropriate locations during a drawdown.