Learn about changes in Lake Toho hydrilla treatment Nov. 5
Monday, October 25, 2010
Media contact: Joy Hill, 352-258-3426; Patricia Behnke, 850-251-2130
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation
Commission (FWC), along with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service,
will hold a public meeting to discuss the changes for hydrilla
management on Lake Toho for the winter of 2010-2011. The meeting
will be Friday, Nov. 5, from 6-8 p.m., at the Osceola County
Commission Chambers in the Administrative Building at 1 Courthouse
Staff from both the FWC and the USFWS will present
information on the upcoming hydrilla treatment plan to manage the
nonnative plant. A preview of the evening's public meeting will be
offered in the same location from 3-4 p.m. for government officials
interested in the topic.
"Lake Toho contains large amounts of hydrilla,
which can cause navigation problems and limit access to boaters,"
said Bill Caton, the FWC's Invasive Plant Section leader. "This
plant also provides an abundant food source and habitat used by a
nonnative species of apple snail that lives in the lake."
The snail is eaten by the (Everglades) snail kite,
one of the most endangered birds in Florida, making Lake Toho one
of the few areas in the state where kites can still find plenty of
food. As a result, the FWC and the USFWS will change how, when and
where hydrilla is controlled on the lake so that enough snails will
be available when kites start nesting in the early spring.
This coming winter, the agencies will take an
extra-cautious approach when controlling hydrilla to help the kites
recover from a severe winter last year. The FWC and the USFWS are
attempting to balance the needs of this endangered species with the
needs of the people who use this lake. The meeting will provide
information on how this plan is expected to affect hydrilla growth
through the summer of 2011.
For more information on the meeting, please contact
Zach Welch at 352-266-6139.