Aquatic Plant Management
About the Program
The FWC's Aquatic Plant Management Program designs, funds, coordinates, and contracts invasive nonnative aquatic plant control efforts in Florida's 1.25 million acres of public waters under Florida Statute and Rule. Public water bodies are sovereignty waters accessible by public boat ramps. Invasive non-native aquatic plants, mostly hydrilla, water hyacinth and water lettuce are managed in several hundred water bodies throughout Florida each year.
Lake Management Plans
The FWC is developing comprehensive lake management plans, covering the management of fish, wildlife and habitat in priority systems. The development of these management plans will allow for local stakeholders and FWC staff to jointly craft management targets and approaches that will ensure the long-term well-being of these resources and their benefit to people. The FWC encourages people to be a part of this process and provide input on lakes in their area.Learn More
The FWC's process for Aquatic Plant Management:
This resource describes in detail why invasive aquatic plants need management to maintain a healthy ecosystem and a description of what makes Florida’s waters unique. It also includes information on the methods the FWC uses to control plants and the science-based decision-making used to develop waterbody management plans.
The FWC's role in aquatic plant management:
A variety of federal, state, local and private entities manage aquatic plants in Florida with the FWC being the lead agency. The FWC follows the regulatory guidelines set by the EPA, and coordinates with the US Army Corps of Engineers, Florida Department of Environmental Protection and the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Sciences.
Hurricanes and Aquatic Vegetation in Florida
The impacts of hurricanes on aquatic vegetation can be severe and may result in long-lasting impacts, often leading to many years of recovery to return to pre-hurricane conditions. Learn more about how severe storms can impact aquatic plant management.Learn More
FWC is building a comprehensive page to display a variety of information regarding Florida’s aquatic resources. Currently this page includes the What's Happening on my Lake map, which includes general waterbody information, fishing forecasts, virtual tours, plant control operation schedules and annual workplans, boat ramp information, depth contour maps, fisheries catch data and creel surveys, aquatic plant surveys, historical plant control acreage data, and control trends by plant.
This interactive map allows the user to view aquatic plant control acreages and expenditures by waterbody, county, water management boundaries, or legislative boundaries, as well as the historical acreages for each waterbody dating back to 1997.
FWC plans operations a week or more in advance which describe upcoming plant control treatments on each waterbody. Workplans are created at the beginning of each fiscal year and contain a list of plants that could potentially need control during that year on each waterbody.