Water-Related News

Hydrilla Treatment Scheduled for Lake May

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UPDATE The hydrilla treatment that was scheduled for January 15th on Lake May in the Winter Haven Chain of Lakes has been postponed due to environmental conditions that are not favorable for the treatment. The treatment will be rescheduled based on weather and environmental conditions. There are currently no water use restrictions for Lake May.

BARTOW – On Wednesday, January 15, weather permitting, Polk County Parks and Natural Resources Invasive Plant Section in cooperation with Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) will treat Lake May for hydrilla.

The chemicals Clipper (flumioxazin) and Reward (diquat) will be injected into the water column in an effort to reduce the amount of hydrilla currently present in Lake May. These are EPA approved chemicals that effect plant growth but are nontoxic to fish, humans, and wildlife when applied according to label. Water may not be used for livestock/domestic animal consumption (animal drinking of water restricted) for 1 day; irrigation to turf and landscape ornamentals for 3 days; and for irrigation to food crops and production ornamentals for 5 days after the treatment. There are no fishing and swimming restrictions associated with this treatment.

Hydrilla can be found throughout most of Lake May. Given time, the hydrilla can continue to grow thicker, eventually reaching the surface forming mats, choking out the native plants, and making navigation impossible. Hydrilla can spread by fragmentation; a major objective of this treatment is to help prevent the hydrilla fragments from spreading to other Lakes within the Winter Haven Chain as well as to allow for expansion of other native submersed species currently present in Lake May. Hydrilla is an exotic aquatic plant spread easily by boats throughout the state's lakes and rivers. It clogs waterways, making recreational activities difficult or impossible, and it chokes out beneficial native plants. Managing and treating it is necessary for the health of Florida's waters and to enable continued recreational boating and other aquatic activities.

For questions regarding hydrilla treatment and irrigation restrictions, please contact Bryan Finder at 863-534-7377 or by email.

(Hydrilla photo courtesy Seminole County.)