FWC continues torpedograss management on Lake Okeechobee
Photos available: https://www.flickr.com/gp/myfwcmedia/n9V0L2
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) will tackle one of Lake Okeechobee’s most widespread and noxious invasive plants — Torpedograss (Panicum repens).
The FWC will manage 1,500 acres of torpedograss using herbicide applied with an agricultural boom truck. Treatments will occur from Monday, May 9 through Friday, May 20, depending on weather.
The management area is in the northwest marsh of Lake Okeechobee between Buckhead Ridge and the Indian Prairie Canal. The northwest marsh of Lake Okeechobee provides high quality foraging and nesting habitat for the endangered Everglade snail kite, wading birds, waterfowl and other marsh species.
Dense stands of this nonnative grass dominate large areas of the lake’s marshes and outcompetes native, desirable vegetation. Torpedograss management has and will reestablish desirable and diverse aquatic plant communities at sparse to moderate densities, thereby increasing foraging, spawning and nesting habitat for invertebrate, fish, avian and other wildlife populations.
The torpedograss management area proposed by the FWC has been vetted through and approved by the Lake Okeechobee Aquatic Plant Management Interagency Task Force (an advisory group of state and federal agencies with public input on aquatic plant management conducted by the FWC, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Water Management District on Lake Okeechobee) and Audubon Florida.
Management activities, such as aquatic plant management, prescribed burns and native plant transplanting, help improve habitat for fish, waterfowl, wading birds and other wildlife populations while also allowing improved recreational opportunities for anglers, boaters and hunters. These management activities are part of an integrated approach used by the FWC on many lakes and wetlands throughout Florida.
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/Lakes.
The FWC, with its partners, continually work together to enhance and restore fish and wildlife habitat in Florida. For more information about the FWC’s Aquatic Habitat Conservation and Restoration projects, visit MyFWC.com/AquaticHabitat.
For more information about this project, contact Alyssa Jordan with the FWC’s Aquatic Habitat Conservation and Restoration Section at 863-697-2181.