Port Authority to finalize river weed-removal plan

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The Augusta Port Authority hopes to award a contract this month for weed control in the Savannah River along downtown Augusta and North Augusta.

"We ended up getting three bids, which is what we needed," authority chairman Wayne Hawkins said.

As part of an effort to control invasive elodea that has taken hold along much of the channel, the river was lowered three feet on May 16 to allow bidders to inspect the area and offer proposals.

At the time, only two companies sent workers to Augusta, yielding only one bid. Since then, Hawkins said, two other bidders have emerged -- one from Statesboro, Ga., and another from Beaufort, S.C.

"They were close together, and the chemicals they proposed using were all EPA approved," he said.

The authority is scheduled to address the matter at its next meeting, at 9 a.m. June 16 at the Boathouse.

Removing the weeds is expected to improve water flow and aesthetics along the river's downtown portion.

Events held on the river include regattas and the annual Southern Nationals drag boat races.

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WoodyKaminer
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WoodyKaminer 06/01/11 - 03:46 pm
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When are they planning on

When are they planning on returning the water level back to where it was before they lowered it? I tried to fish Deep Step last week and I could barely get my jon boat through the deepest parts. All I could catch was dirt on the bottom. Its a shame. Its always something isnt it?

Sweet son
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Sweet son 06/01/11 - 04:19 pm
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I just hope that since only

I just hope that since only two companies were interested and submitted only one bid that the Port Authority gets their money's worth when it lets a contract. Seems a little "fishy" (tongue in cheek) that two more vendors just all of a sudden appeared. The Savannah; what a great resource!

madgerman
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madgerman 06/01/11 - 04:43 pm
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Maybe when they finish
Unpublished

Maybe when they finish cleaning up downtown, they could look at the weed choked streets in south Augusta. Removing the weedswill"improve the traffic flow and aschetics along the streets . Events conducte3d on these streets include allowing people to get to work and passage of emergency vehicles. Really, just how many of our city residents go to the river downtown?

athome
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athome 06/01/11 - 05:37 pm
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Will this help down stream

Will this help down stream from downtown? The problem weeds grow all the way to the lock and dam.

Riverman1
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Riverman1 06/01/11 - 05:59 pm
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Woody, I hear you. I live on

Woody, I hear you. I live on that portion of the river. The flow fluctuates with the coordination of the two dams and the amount released from the lake. It has to be done carefully to keep a good level. After 5 PM it starts to fill up if you want to try Deepstep again. Good luck. The bass fishing hasn't been good for some reason.

yu nah ee tah
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yu nah ee tah 06/01/11 - 06:22 pm
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EPA approved herbicides. So

EPA approved herbicides.

So was Agent Orange.

Put "Komeen" or "Reward" or "K TEA" in your search engine. Click on then read the Material Safety Data Sheet. Decide for yourself if you want these in your drinking water. What happens when these herbicides are mixed with a catalyst like the chlorine used in potable water systems?

WoodyKaminer
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WoodyKaminer 06/01/11 - 09:02 pm
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Riverman, is it always like

Riverman, is it always like that (goes up after 5) or is it just when they have it lowered? Another guy we ran into fishing out there said its been down for about 2 wks. We tried to go the quick way to deep step and after about 100 yards it was completely dry. We had to turn around an come back out and go the long way. Once we did that, we actually had to get out of the boat and pull it over the weeds and the dirt. It was ridiculous. Doesnt the COE realize that more weeds will grow in shollower water? Seems to me that they could have set up a plan. They could have told these 3 companies what day(s) it was going to be lowered and made them show up on those days. If they wanted the job bad enough they would have to show up on the COE schedule. Im tired of all the people in charge making such dumb decisions. Doesnt anybody think about stuff anymore?

Riverman1
94338
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Riverman1 06/02/11 - 04:09 am
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Woody, I'm glad you

Woody, I'm glad you understand how critical the water release is to our Columbia County portion of the river between the dams. That's why I complain so much when they decrease the outflow trying to keep the lake up. This year they did lower the amount they are releasing. The old head of the COE was an Army friend and he tried to look out for us river dwellers. (Sounds like the Stallings Island Indians..ha)

Actually the decrease in the output from Thurmond Dam for the weeds observation stopped a few days after they did it. This low level during the day is pretty much the norm in the summer with the drought. About the only time I even try to fish is late in the day when they close the Stevens Creek Dam and the backpool rises. From about 6 to dark.

You have to know the river well. I've seen some expensive boats torn up hitting stumps there. The stumps are generally on the Georgia side. In Deepstep, it's the other way around. You have to hug the island bank. There's only one way in and out of Deepstep...next to that bank.

On down near the Stevens Creek Dam, around the island in the cove where Stevens Creek actually runs in there are lots of stumps too. Hug the island bank there too.

Of course when the water is higher, you can pretty much go anywhere. After I said the fishing is bad this year, my son caught a couple of bass last night off the dock, by the way. My neighbor caught about 80 panfish the other week out in the cove.

The Columbia County portion of the river is actually like a lake it's so wide. It's a resource few appreciate.

WoodyKaminer
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WoodyKaminer 06/02/11 - 07:55 am
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Thank you for the

Thank you for the information. I love being outside and Ive been trying to find a place to take my younger boys (6 and 12)fishing. I love being out in the river because of all the wildlife you can encounter. Hopefully they can come up with a balance to make everybody happy. Thanks for your help, and thanks for your prior service.

Little Lamb
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Little Lamb 06/02/11 - 01:07 pm
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It's sometimes okay to report

It's sometimes okay to report what a so-called "expert" tells you; but being a good journalist requires research, getting other opinions, and some common sense. Rob Pavey wrote:

Removing the weeds is expected to improve water flow . . . along the river's downtown portion.

Now, come on. The flow rate is determined by rainfall in the watershed and upon releases from the dam. Killing weeds will not improve flow. It might improve aesthetics for those who don't like aquatic weeds, but that's a matter of sensibility, not science.

TK3
562
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TK3 06/02/11 - 03:07 pm
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EPA says poison in river

EPA says poison in river OK....I will drink to that (Not)!

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