Hydrilla treatment set for Lake Kissimmee
Thursday, February 14, 2013
Media contact: Joy Hill, 352-258-3426
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) will treat portions of Lake Kissimmee in Osceola County for hydrilla on Feb. 20 and 21, weather permitting.
The FWC’s Invasive Plant Management Section will treat 561 acres of hydrilla by airboat, using Aquathol K™. There are no restrictions for fishing, swimming or irrigation. Aquathol K™ is approved for use in lakes by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.
The treatments are planned to enable navigation access and to prevent encroachment by hydrilla on beneficial native submersed aquatic plants.
Hydrilla is an invasive, exotic, aquatic plant spread easily by boats throughout the state’s lakes and rivers. It clogs waterways, making recreational activities difficult or impossible, and chokes out beneficial native plants. Managing and treating it is necessary for the health of Florida’s waters and to enable continued recreational boating and other aquatic activities.
What makes invasive plant management so complicated is that hydrilla can benefit recreational anglers and waterfowl hunters and even help support the endangered snail kite. On the other hand, scientific research and the economics of attempting to manage it provide a compelling reason to try to keep it out of new areas and control it before it harms beneficial native habitat, navigation, flood control, potable and irrigation water supplies, recreation and the aesthetic qualities of lakes.
The FWC attempts to balance these needs while managing hydrilla.
For questions about this treatment, contact Danielle Kirkland, FWC invasive plant management biologist, at 863-534-7074.