Wednesday, August 26, 2009


Freshwater Jellyfish in Smith Lake
Posted: 24 Aug 2009 06:12 AM PDT
Kathy Potocsnak called me recently about a mystery organism that she'd found near her boat dock on Smith Lake. Since I couldn't recognize it from a verbal description, she brought one to the office. I made some photos and sent them to Rusty Wright, Extension Fisheries Specialist. Here's his response:"Yep that is a freshwater jellyfish. I usually get 1-2 calls a year confirming the presence of these critters in our lakes and ponds. I think many times I'm settling a bet! "Freshwater jellyfish, Craspedacusta sowerbyi, is a non-native species originally from Asia. It is now common virtually globally. They eat small zooplankton but there is no evidence that they do any damage to our ecosystems. People see them most often from clear lakes, pools, and reservoirs: however they are also in more cloudy turbid water as well it is just that we can't see them as well in those systems. "It is an interesting critter!"Here's a link to the U. S. Geological Survey's web page about these jellyfish.This jellyfish was actively swimming around in the jar. It swim throught the water for a few seconds, then it would pause and just float. After I made these photos, Kathy took the jellyfish back to the lake.Thanks to Rusty for the identification of the photos, and to Kathy for bringing the freshwater jellyfish to our office.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Clean Water Act

The government is currently planning/discussing making a major change to this ACT. This change has already been passed forward from the "committee" and is now in the hands of congress. This major change is to designate the Corp Of Engineers and E.P.A. to oversee the waters in all the watersheds in the United States. This I think would be a disaster!!! Currently the Corp Of Engineers oversee all navigable waters in the United States. They currently do not have money enough to maintain/dredge the waterways they are now responsible for. E.P.A. is also short of money and manpower, way behind on issuing permits, which can be extremely expensive.We need both the EPA and the Corp of Engineers to continue there present responsibilities but we do not need more government regulations and control of our everyday life and land. Should anyone want me to explain how this would be a disaster I will be happy to do so._________________
Should you not want this change to the Clean Water Act call your Senators and Congressman and tell them I do not want the Corp Of Engineers and EPA overseeing all watersheds in the U.S. Leave it like it was.
President of Winston County Smith Lake Advocacy Inc.
Member of Bankhead National Forest liaison panel
Member of Winston County Natural Resource Council.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

flood insurance

Summary of a conversation between LaVerne Matheson, President, Winston County Smith Lake Advocacy, Inc., and Janice Mitchell, FEMA
Re: Flood Insurance
770-220-5441/Atlanta Georgia
The following is information as I understood it in my conversation with Janice Mitchell on Thursday, August 13, 2009:
1) There probably has never been a 100 year flood plain map completed on Lewis Smith Lake. When the lake was built in the early sixties there was no National Flood Insurance; thus, no map was required.
2) Where no 100 year flood plain map has ever existed, all “dark shaded” areas on the new flood zone maps are considered to be in class A (the most expensive flood insurance class). This would require all lenders to request flood insurance prior to the acquisition of any federally backed mortgage (and probably bank mortgages on a home or building, as well) regardless of the elevation of the property. In order to contest the requirement for flood insurance on the property, the property owner must obtain a new elevation survey, plus supply additional data, then request a reevaluation of FEMA’S data on the property. When the evaluation is completed, the owner will be notified of the findings, and whether flood insurance will be required. Even if FEMA rules that you do not need flood insurance for your mortgage, the lender can review the flood map, note that your property is in the “dark shaded” area and then the LENDER can require flood insurance before a closing. FEMA can do nothing about the lender’s request for flood insurance, but because your property is now in class X, your insurance should be less costly.
3-The expense of making any change to the flood insurance for Smith Lake would have to borne by Winston County, and would very costly for a hydrology engineer. FEMA might accept the new elevation maps from the engineer, but would it change the flood insurance requirement or the cost of flood insurance?
4-From my conversation with Janice Mitchell the best solution is to have your lot, development or property resurveyed, ascertain the correct elevation on your property and then ask for a reevaluation.
Janice Mitchell will discuss your problem with you and explain what might be best for you and what is required for a reevaluation of your property. JUST GIVE JANICE A CALL!!!!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

membership form


Mission Statement: The mission of Winston County Smith Lake Advocacy is to preserve and protect the environmental quality of Lewis Smith Lake and its tributaries through education of the public and the promotion and implementation of sound environmental practices.

Name____________________________________________ (Please print)

Mailing Address_____________________________________

Email address_______________________________ (all notices and information will be sent to your email address unless you specify phone or US mail)
Dues enclosed_________ ($10 per household or business per year; $100 lifetime) Make check payable to “WCSLAI”
Mail check and form to: Winston County Smith Lake Advocacy, Inc. P. O. Box 435 Arley, AL 35541
2009 Board of Directors

Linda Atkinson
Larry Barkey
Bob Beatty
Kitty Chance
Mary Ann Crunk
Paul Gillette
Tom Grubbs
Barry Johnson
Burt Jones
Judy Lambert
LaVerne Matheson
Dennis Quinn