Florida Tournament Report

Lake Istokpoga hydrilla and emergent plant treatments scheduled


The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) will conduct aquatic plant control treatments via helicopter on portions of Lake Istokpoga during the first and second weeks of December, weather permitting. Plant species targeted for treatment are hydrilla, water primrose, cattail and pickerelweed.

Hydrilla is an invasive, exotic aquatic plant that is easily spread into other water bodies by clinging to boats and boat trailers. While recreational anglers and waterfowl hunters may see some benefits from the hydrilla there are other potential negative 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 attempts to balance these needs while managing hydrilla.

Water primrose, an emergent shoreline species, forms dense stands where cattails and pickerelweed also grow. Water primrose accelerates sedimentation and tussocks formation, which in turn degrades prime fish spawning areas and nesting and foraging habitat for endangered snail kites and other birds. Additionally, tussocks break loose from shoreline areas, float around the lake and push up against docks, flood control structures, irrigation intakes, boat ramps and canals, resulting in property damage, flooding, blocked access and navigation.

On Dec. 2, emergent plants (water primrose, cattail and pickerelweed), located on the long island west of Bumblebee Island, will be treated on 121.5-aces of the lake with Clearcast® and Clipper®. On Dec. 7, Aquathol K™ will be used to treat 900 acres of hydrilla in the northeast cove.

Aquathol K, Clearcast and Clipper are herbicides approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for use in lakes. These treatments have no restrictions for fishing, swimming or irrigation.

For answers to questions about this treatment, contact Kelle Sullivan, regional biologist with the FWC’s invasive plant management section, at 863-534-7074.