Aquatic plant control on Lake Rousseau

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) will conduct aquatic plant control on Lake Rousseau from July 10 through July 21, weather permitting. Biologists anticipate treating about 110 acres of hydrilla and 50 acres of water lettuce and water hyacinth with U.S. Environmental Protection Agency approved herbicides.

Invasive hydrilla will be treated only in boat trails, but water lettuce and water hyacinth will be treated throughout the lake. Boat trails requiring hydrilla treatment to maintain navigation include BuddyĆ­s Trail, County Trail B, Pig Pen Trail (off County Trail B), Hamic Estates Trail, Biocontrol Trail, Horseshoe Trail and Goldendale Trail.

Accrding to Bruce Jaggers, a FWC invasive plant management biologist, there will be no restrictions on recreational activities, such as fishing or swimming, during the treatment period, any edible fish caught (that are legal to keep) may be consumed. There’s a 7-day restriction for using water from treated areas for drinking or for animal consumption. However there are no restrictions for other uses of treated water such as irrigating turf, ornamental plants and crops.

Hydrilla is an invasive aquatic plant spread easily by boats throughout FloridaĆ­s lakes and rivers. While recreational anglers and waterfowl hunters may see some benefits from hydrilla, there are other potential impacts to consider, including negative impacts to beneficial native habitat, navigation, flood control, potable and irrigation water supplies, recreation, and the aesthetic qualities of lakes. The FWC strives to balance these needs while managing hydrilla.

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