FWC seeking input on hydrilla treatments on the Harris Chain of Lakes
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) is gathering stakeholder input on the upcoming hydrilla treatments proposal for this fall and winter in the Harris Chain of Lakes in Lake County.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and in order to follow CDC guidelines, the FWC will not hold an in-person public meeting but is gathering input about the proposed hydrilla treatments via email. The proposal includes hydrilla treatment plans for Lake Harris, Lake Griffin, Lake Dora and Lake Yale.
People can provide feedback by emailing HarrisChain@MyFWC.com. Please provide comments no later than Sept. 30, 2020. To view the proposal, visit MyFWC.com/AquaticPlants, click on “Learn More” in the “Lake Management Plans” section. Once on the Lake Management Plans page, scroll down and click on the “Harris Chain of Lakes.”
Hydrilla is an invasive aquatic plant spread easily by boats throughout the state’s lakes and rivers. It clogs waterways, making recreational activities difficult or impossible, and outcompetes beneficial native plants, resulting in reduced plant communities’ diversity. 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 is aware that hydrilla can provide some benefit for recreational anglers and waterfowl hunters and tries to balance those benefits with the economic and environmental cost this plant has on our native plant communities.
The FWC is committed to working with stakeholders to make appropriate adjustments to management plans that will balance the needs of fish, wildlife and the multi-stakeholder uses of the resource. The FWC appreciates the continued commitment and input from stakeholders to help develop the future Harris Chain Management Plan.
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 questions about treatments on this system, contact Nathalie Visscher, FWC invasive plant management regional biologist, at 321-228-3364.