News Releases

Lakes Hatchineha, Cypress, Jackson to benefit from herbicide treatments

News Release

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Media contact: Joy Hill, 352-258-3426

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) will treat about 350 acres of dense stands of aquatic plants in three Osceola County lakes to improve both foraging habitat for fish and wildlife and fishing access for anglers.

The targeted plants are cattails, pickerelweed, American lotus and knotweed, and they will be treated via helicopter with the herbicides glyphosate and 2,4-D. Aerial treatments are an efficient and effective method for controlling certain types of aquatic plants. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency approves both herbicides for use in lakes.

Anglers and other lake users can expect to see the helicopter treating lakes Hatchineha, Cypress and Jackson from May 18 through May 20, weather permitting.

On Lake Hatchineha, approximately 120 acres of emergent plants, primarily cattail, will be treated to keep them from encroaching on desirable native submersed vegetation. About 80 acres of cattail and pickerelweed will be treated on Lake Cypress to maintain desirable densities of emergent plants for fish and wildlife and to promote native submersed vegetation.

Emergent plants are those that grow up out of the water; submersed plants are those growing below the water's surface.

American lotus, a large, round-leaved plant that looks similar to lily pads and spatterdock, has covered approximately 60 percent of Lake Jackson. Although anglers have been doing very well fishing for bass on the lake, access to fishing areas has become difficult. Many areas that provided good fishing as recently as three months ago now are covered with lotus and unfishable.

To address this problem, approximately 130 acres of navigation trails and fishing lanes through the lotus will be created with herbicide treatments. The trails should be open about two weeks after treatments. In addition, 20 acres of knotweed will be treated to reduce plant densities to a level that improves fish and wildlife foraging habitat.

For questions about these treatments, contact Tim Coughlin, FWC biological administrator, at 352-732-1225.

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