Thousands of plants to make their home in Lake Arbuckle
Lake Arbuckle is getting a little help after it was raked by Hurricane Irma two years ago.
Beginning Tuesday, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is transplanting thousands of aquatic plants into the lake to boost the shallow-water and crappie fishing opportunities.
While most aquatic plants are pretty resilient, hurricanes with 90-100 mph winds can totally destroy a lake.
“They can literally pile them up on the shoreline, and that is what [Irma] did to lakes up and down Highway 27,” said Eric Johnson, regional fisheries administrator with the Department of Freshwater Fisheries Management. Johnson oversees more than 1,000 miles of streams, rivers and tributaries throughout 12 counties in the southwest part of the state.
Johnson said the plants improve the quality of the lake, and provide a habitat structure that is good for the fish and fishermen alike.
The FWC is planting a total of 8,000 giant bulrush and 16,000 jointed spikerush plants along Lake Arbuckle’s western and southwestern shorelines.
“These native aquatic plants will serve as a valuable food source and habitat for a variety of wildlife, including both small and large fish, waterfowl, wading birds, turtles and apple snails,” said Carly Althoff, who works with the FWC Aquatic Habitat Conservation and Restoration Section.