The tale of hydrilla and the golden grass-eating carp

Once upon a time there was a terrible invasive weed-queen named Hydrilla who grew so fast she pushed out every other aquatic plant at J. Strom Thurmond Lake. With the help of her toxic underling, blue-green algae, the pair wreaked havoc on local waterfowl and birds of prey.

After a thorough study and survey, residents decided to introduce legions of sterile, grass-eating carp (combined with targeted herbicide treatments, of course) to combat Queen Hydrilla’s stranglehold on the ecosystem.

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Setting the stage

Well, there’s one thing you can say about July’s rainfall: it wasn’t June, but it also wasn’t May, either. (Or is that two things?)

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There’s (no longer) an app for that

Community members have been experiencing issues recently with our Savannah Corps lake level app.

Some folks have mentioned that the app will no longer update (but could still access it), whereas others couldn’t even find it in the app store.

The bad news is that the app is likely going away. The good news is we arranged for a relatively simple work around by creating a mobile-size HTML page that works just like the app. Continue reading

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3 died at Corps lakes over July 4th weekend

Tanya Grant, park ranger at Hartwell Lake, encourages visitors to always wear life jackets while swimming or boating. Visitors can borrow life jackets through the Corps’ Life Jacket Loaner Program.

Over the Independence Day weekend three fatalities at U.S. Army Corps of Engineers supervised lakes could have been prevented with a simple piece of equipment: a life jacket. Continue reading

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Corps to study Augusta’s ‘training wall’

SAVANNAH, Ga. An underwater wall installed in the Savannah River in Augusta, Georgia, more than a century ago will be the subject of a just-funded study by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Savannah District.

The so-called “training wall” in the Savannah River runs from just downstream of 8th Street and ends 1,800 feet downstream of Boathouse Community Center. Continue reading

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Study to examine effects of ‘re-bending’ Savannah River

Duck Cut is an example of a cutoff bend being disconnected at both ends, which affects the water quality of the Savannah River and the quantity of available aquatic habitats. A Savannah District team is developing a solution to restore some of the 46 bends put in the river for historical commercial navigation dating back to the late 1800s. (Photo: Google Earth)

SAVANNAH, Ga. — In the late 1800s the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and others cut through 46 bends in the Savannah River below Augusta to aid commercial navigation. Now the Corps wants to know how these “shortcuts” have impacted the river’s ecosystem and which ones make the best candidates for restoring. Continue reading

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Holding strong — all summer long?

The Savannah River Basin roared into summer last month.

Hartwell and Thurmond each collected 6.8 inches of rain in June – a full 2 and 3 inches above their averages, respectively. Russell pulled in a solid 5 inches compared to its 3.8-inch average. Continue reading

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Summer heat hits striped bass hard

Anthony Rabern (left) and Tony Anderson, biologist and technician with the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, retrieve data tracking information from tagged fish in Lake Hartwell on the Georgia-South Carolina state line.

No one argues that summer heat in the South climbs well above the comfort level – for humans and animals. Continue reading

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June showers make up for May’s wilted flowers

You know that feeling when you take a sip of ice cold water and you can feel it go all the way down your esophagus? That was last week after the unbearably dry month of May.

It was so dry for the Savannah River Basin (“How dry was it?!”) that each of the sub-basins surpassed their monthly totals for May in just the first full weekend in June alone. Continue reading

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Dredging pilot project could be a game-changer for Georgia coast

A drone’s eye view of the 5-acre plot where the thin layer placement portion of the pilot project is being conducted near Jekyll Creek.

JEKYLL ISLAND, Ga. – Conventional wisdom warns against building on shaky ground, but the future of Georgia’s coastline could very well rest on 5 acres of “pluff mud.”

(Watch a video about the pilot project here.) Continue reading

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