Feb. 22 meeting on Kissimmee Chain invasive plant management
Friday, February 11, 2011
Media contact: Joy Hill, 352-258-3426
Invasive plant management on the Kissimmee Chain of
Lakes will be the focus of a public meeting in Kissimmee on
Tuesday, Feb. 22 from 6 to 8 p.m. The meeting will be held on the
fourth floor of the Osceola County Commission Chambers in the
Administrative Building at 1 Courthouse Square.
This is a dual-purpose meeting. It will provide
updates on recent invasive plant control on lakes in the Kissimmee
Chain by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission
(FWC) and the South Florida Water Management District. It is also a
follow-up to a Dec. 12 public meeting where the FWC and the U.S.
Fish and Wildlife Service gave an update and answered questions on
the hydrilla treatment program implemented last November.
The FWC, the South Florida Water Management
District, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the University of
Florida will present information on hydrilla management activities,
herbicide monitoring reports and herbicide registration, and an
update on snail kite nesting activity.
These agencies implemented an adaptive approach to
hydrilla treatment to help protect the endangered Everglade snail
kite by increasing the bird's access to its food source, namely
apple snails. The kite has lost most of its historic nesting and
feeding habitat in South Florida because of drought and floods,
and, in the past few years, many have moved north to Lake
Tohopekaliga - Toho, for short.
In October, at the first meeting held by the FWC
and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service regarding the new treatment
plans, biologists detailed how hydrilla provides a food source and
a structure on which apple snails climb to the surface of the
water, where the Everglade snail kite can eat them. Abundant
hydrilla and apple snails make Lake Toho one of the best areas in
the state for snail kites to find plenty of food and to nest.
As a result, the FWC and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife
Service are taking extra precautions when controlling hydrilla in
Lake Toho this winter and spring, to help the dwindling population
of snail kites. These agencies are working to balance the needs of
this endangered species with the needs of the people and businesses
that use the lake or depend on it for their income.
For more information on the meeting, please contact
Ed Harris at 407-858-6170.