FWC begins habitat enhancement project on Lake Jackson
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) is conducting a large-scale habitat restoration project on Lake Jackson within Three Lakes Wildlife Management Area in Osceola County.
Throughout the fall of 2021 and winter of 2022, lake water levels have naturally receded to much lower than average. This lower water level has allowed the dense aquatic vegetation and the underlying muck layer to dry out, making it easier to remove using heavy equipment. Once removed, the muck and vegetation will be transported to in-lake disposal islands and designated upland disposal sites.
These management activities will enhance fish and wildlife habitat that has degraded in recent years due to stabilized water levels. When lakes do not maintain naturally fluctuating water levels, the buildup of nuisance aquatic vegetation and organic sediments (muck) on the lake bottom occurs over time. This buildup of muck can degrade water quality and negatively affect natural habitat.
The FWC last conducted a drawdown and habitat enhancement project on Lake Jackson in the mid-1990s.
Habitat enhancement efforts, including management of invasive plants in open water and replanting scraped sites with native bulrush, are scheduled to be completed by June 1, 2022. Later this summer, the lake will begin to refill naturally, dependent on rainfall. The FWC will continue habitat enhancement activities to maintain these areas in the future.
The Lake Jackson boat ramp will be accessible for boats (launching) during this project. Please be aware that exposed lake bottom is a designated construction site, so ATVs and other vehicles are not permitted within the work areas (on the lake bottom) during this project (March – May 2022).
For updates on this project, including effects on public access or 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 this project, contact FWC biologists Adriene Landrum or Tim Coughlin at 407-846-5269.