The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) will conduct aquatic plant control on Lake Rousseau from April 9 through April 20, weather permitting. Lake Rousseau is part of the Withlacoochee River and is in Citrus, Levy and Marion counties west of Dunnellon.
Invasive hydrilla will be treated only in boat trails, but water lettuce and water hyacinth will be treated throughout the lake.
Boat trails requiring hydrilla treatment to maintain navigation include River Retreats Trail, Hamic Estates Trail and Old Mill Trail.
Biologists anticipate treating about 37 acres of hydrilla and 45 acres of water lettuce and water hyacinth with herbicides approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
“There will be no restrictions on recreational activities, such as fishing or swimming, during the treatment period,” said Bruce Jaggers, an FWC invasive plant management biologist. “Any edible fish caught that are legal to keep may be consumed.”
There is a seven-day restriction on using water from treated areas for drinking or for animal consumption. However there are no restrictions for other uses of treated water such as irrigating turf, ornamental plants and crops.
Hydrilla is an invasive aquatic plant spread easily by boats throughout Florida’s lakes and rivers. While recreational anglers and waterfowl hunters may see some benefits from hydrilla, there are other potential impacts to consider including negative impacts to beneficial native habitat, navigation, flood control, potable and irrigation water supplies, recreation and the aesthetic qualities of lakes. The FWC strives to balance these needs while managing hydrilla.
Go to MyFWC.com/WildlifeHabitats and click on “Invasive Plants” to find out more about invasive plant management, including “Frequently Asked Questions.”
For more information contact Bruce Jaggers at 352-726-8622.