Hydrilla treatment for Cypress Lake postponed
Monday, March 01, 2010
Media contact: Bill Graf (SFWMD), 407-858-6100, ext. 3837 or 407-908-4764; Ed Harris (FWC), 407-275-4004
The South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD)
and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC)
have postponed a hydrilla treatment planned for 1,745 acres of
Cypress Lake that was scheduled to begin March 2. The agencies will
reschedule the effort to control the invasive plant some time after
The District and the FWC determined that recent
wetter-than-normal weather in the Kissimmee Basin had the potential
to increase water flows, limiting the effectiveness of herbicides
used on hydrilla. The noxious aquatic plant can clog waterways,
impede navigation and affect wildlife.
When the treatment does occur, the SFWMD Vegetation
Management Division and FWC Invasive Plant Management Section will
first apply the herbicide Aquathol over impacted areas of Cypress
Lake using a team of helicopters. A few days later, aquatic plant
experts will use airboats to apply Galleon, another herbicide that
robs hydrilla of its ability to feed itself.
As hydrilla becomes a larger challenge in the
Kissimmee Chain of Lakes, the agencies are constantly looking for
new ways to keep the plant under control. By applying Galleon in
combination with the regularly used Aquathol, aquatic plant experts
are hoping to maximize the herbicides' effects.
Both Aquathol and Galleon are approved for lake use
by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Since hydrilla was first introduced from Asia as an
ornamental aquarium plant in the 1950s, the rapidly growing aquatic
plant has invaded almost 80 percent of Florida's freshwater ponds,
rivers and waterways. The plant can grow in underwater stands or
surface mats and is easily transferred to other water bodies by
Hydrilla slows water flow and can clog structures
in District canals that must be kept clear for effective flood
control. It can also be detrimental to fish and wildlife habitat
and limit access to waterways by clogging boat motors.
The SFWMD Vegetation Management Division is
responsible for managing nuisance and invasive exotic vegetation
throughout the 16-county District. The implementation of a
vegetation management program is necessary to ensure the continued
use and function of the region's water resources and preservation
of South Florida's conservation lands.
For more information on the District's vegetation
management efforts, please visit the District's website at www.sfwmd.gov.