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Pete Deschenes Stakeholders Board

What is it, who are they, and what are they doing?

You may have seen some news articles or perhaps a friend has chatted about the Pete Deschenes Stakeholders Board. But does everyone have a good understanding regarding the answers to the questions above?

The Bass Anglers Sportsman Society(BASS) is a national organization and is involved with a range of activities from catalog merchandizing to conservation. Their Conservation group became concerned about Lake Gaston based on member input regarding the declining quality of the fishery. BASS expressed their concern to both the Lake Gaston Weed Control Council (LGWCC) and the Lake Gaston Association (LGA). The outcome resulted in the Pete Deschenes Stakeholders Board.

How did we get from there to here? Easy, it all has to do with fish habitat and nuisance weeds. There is the common link. It took a little time for the three groups to realize that their objectives for the well being of Lake Gaston were very similar, if not identical.

The first all-day meeting of the Pete Deschenes Stakeholders Board was held in early December of 2004. The mission of the Board is quite simple. Create a managed eco-based plan dealing with the entire vegetation issue of Lake Gaston. Since that first meeting, the board has met many times. Minutes from the Pete Deschenes Stakeholders Board meetings can be found by on our Meetings Page. There have also been a number of meetings by sub groups including the Science Team, recently renamed the Technical Advisory Group (TAG) which are kept on the NCSU website.

An additional committee, Governance, was established to formulate the structure of the organization, including how it would operate, who would be voting members, etc. A committee was also established to develop a funding plan, and another, communications, was established to convey Board actions and plans to interested citizens and groups for information sharing, and feedback. During the September 22nd meeting, a Chairman, Pete Deschenes, Vice Chairman, Boyd Strain, and a Secretary, Larry Jolly, were elected to guide the organization.

Twenty-one organizations are represented on the Pete Deschenes Stakeholders Board. There are about 45 individuals representing these groups. Locally, there are 13 groups / organizations that are participating. There are also 8-state, federal and university organizations involved.

The TAG is comprised of roughly 10 experts in the area of fish habitat and the management & control of nuisance weeds. Yes, for an impoundment like Lake Gaston to become or remain a healthy fishery, there is a need for aquatic vegetation. This Team is tasked with the responsibility of understanding the current Lake environment and using all control tools available to recommend management options focused on an eco-solution. This plan will be presented to the Weed Control Council for implementation. Actual treatment under the new plan will not begin until 2007. The treatment plan for this year, 2006, will be discussed at the Weed Control Council meeting scheduled for January 4, 2006 with an eye toward supporting the work of the Pete Deschenes Stakeholders Board.

The TAG will annually review the progress made by the Weed Control Council during the past year. They will not only evaluate progress, but they will adjust the plan annually based on changes to the Lake eco-system and any 'state of the art' control tools that become available. Dr. Boyd Strain has agreed to be the Lake Gaston representative on this team and keep the team on task.

Poor communication and lack of total public involvement has been a traditional concern of nuisance weed treatment on Lake Gaston. Several activities are underway to change the past:

  • A Media Plan has been developed that will keep the public informed.
  • Public input will be solicited & information sessions have occurred since early 2006, including day and night sessions to give everyone an opportunity to attend.
  • Information, as it becomes available, will be posted on the Lake Gaston Assoc. and LG Weed Control Council web sites.

The Pete Deschenes Stakeholders Board is committed to make sure that Lake residents and concerned citizens who want to share their ideas & all who are interested in learning more about the management and treatment plans and their implementation will have more than adequate opportunity to do so.

Contact Info

Lake Gaston Weed Control Council
Jeff Zimmer
Treasurer of LGWCC

Phone: Wally Sayko: (434) 774-0715


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Meeting Minutes

2024 PDSB Resolution...

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2024 Stakeholders Meeting Presentation - February 2024...

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History of Lake Gaston Stakeholders Board...

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Lake Gaston Stakeholders Resolution - 2024...

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