MAY 15, 2019

Florida: Aquatic Plant Control on Lake Rousseau

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) is conducting aquatic plant control on Lake Rousseau May 14 and 15. The FWC’s Invasive Plant Management Section will treat approximately 128 acres of invasive hydrilla. Lake Rousseau is part of the Withlacoochee River in parts of Citrus, Levy and Marion counties west of Dunnellon.

Invasive hydrilla will be treated only in established boat trails on Lake Rousseau. Boat trails requiring hydrilla treatment to maintain navigation include County Trail A, Buddy’s Trail, Peaceful Acres boat ramp and shoreline and Lighthouse Cove.

The herbicides being used for this treatment are Aquathol K and Tribune (diquat). These herbicides are approved for use in lakes by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.

There will be no restrictions on swimming, fishing or consuming fish caught in the lake during or after the treatment. There is a 1-day restriction on using water from treated areas for animal consumption. In addition, there is a 5-day restriction for irrigation to food crops and production ornamentals and a 3-day drinking and irrigation restriction on water from treated areas.

Hydrilla is an invasive aquatic plant easily spread by boats throughout the state’s lakes and rivers. It can clog waterways, making recreational activities difficult or impossible, and competes with 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.

The FWC manages hydrilla on a lake-by-lake basis using a collaborative approach. Management efforts weigh the benefits that low to moderate levels of hydrilla can provide for fish and wildlife plus the desires of various stakeholder groups against the impact this invasive plant can have on native plant communities, access and navigation, flood control, and management costs.

Based on input received from recent public listening sessions, FWC staff is implementing a variety of enhancements to the agency’s Aquatic Plant Management Program. Go to MyFWC.com/AquaticPlants to find out more about invasive plant management.

For general waterbody information, fishing forecasts, virtual tours, plant control operation schedules and annual workplans, boat ramp information, and more, visit the “What’s Happening on My Lake” website at MyFWC.com/Lake.

For more information about this treatment, contact Bruce Jaggers, invasive plant management biologist, at 352-726-8622.

Contact: Greg Workman 352-620-7335; Karen Parker 386-754-1294

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