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Lake Underhill to receive hydrilla treatment

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The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) will treat Lake Underhill in Orlando for hydrilla on June 17, weather permitting, and will monitor the lake for 90 days after treatment. The treatment is targeted to manage hydrilla in the southern lobe of the lake.

The FWC’s Invasive Plant Management Section will treat the hydrilla with Aquathol K™, which has no restrictions for fishing or swimming. Aquathol K is approved for use in lakes by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The treatments are planned to enable navigation access and to prevent encroachment by hydrilla on beneficial native submersed aquatic plants.

Hydrilla is an invasive, exotic, aquatic plant spread easily by boats throughout the state’s lakes and rivers. It clogs waterways, making recreational activities difficult or impossible, and chokes out beneficial native plants. Managing and treating is necessary for the health of Florida’s waters and to enable continued recreational boating and other aquatic activities.

What makes invasive plant management complicated is that hydrilla can benefit recreational anglers and waterfowl hunters and even help support endangered species. On the other hand, scientific research and the economics of attempting to manage it provide a compelling reason to try and keep it out of new areas and control it before it harms beneficial native habitat, navigation, flood control, potable and irrigation water supplies, recreation and the aesthetic qualities of lakes. The FWC attempts to balance these needs while managing hydrilla.

For questions about this treatment, contact Ed Harris, FWC invasive plant management regional biologist, at 321-246-0573.