Aquatic plant task force to meet Aug. 8

OKEECHOBEE — The Lake Okeechobee Aquatic Plant Management Interagency Task Force will meet Thursday, Aug. 8, at 10 a.m. in Okeechobee at the SFWMD Okeechobee Service Center, 316 N.W. Fifth St., Okeechobee.

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission contractors use chemical herbicides to control plants on Lake Okeechobee.

Big O anglers have called for the use of chemical herbicides to be reduced. They have asked for more use of mechanical harvesting on the Big O.

The latest aquatic spraying plan on Lake Okeechobee started Aug. 5 and will continue until Aug. 9, according to the FWC website.

The treatment plan calls for 75 acres in the area of Pelican Bay and Halifax Banks.

Special to the Lake Okeechobee News/UF/Ann Murray
Pistia, also called water lettuce, is considered an invasive plant in Florida.

According to the FWC work plan: “Floating plants negatively impact native habitat and navigation, therefore need management. Scheduled for treatment are Eichhornia and Pistia. Treatments to be used are 2,4-D (liquid); Penoxsulam (liquid); Diquat and Flumioxazin.

Eichhornia is a species of water hyacinth. It is native to South America. Pistia is sometimes called “water cabbage” or “water lettuce.” It was first discovered in Africa.

Special to the Lake Okeechobee News/UF/David Sutton
Water hyacinths are on the list of invasive plants that FWC contractors target with chemical herbicides.

Herbicide Usage for Lake O, according to the FWC website, includes:
• Diquat for Hyacinth in open water, spatterdock & pennywort;
• 2,4-D for Hyacinthin in grasses;
• Penoxsulam for Hyacinth in Giant bulrush and cattail;
• Diquat for Lettuce in open water, spatterdock, grasses and pennywort;
• Flumioxazin for Lettuce in Cattail or Giant bulrush;
• Diquat for Lettuce & Hyacinth together in open water, grasses, spatterdock and pennywort;
• Flumioxazin /Penoxsulam mix for Lettuce & Hyacinth together in Giant bulrush;
• Flumioxazin / Penoxsulam mix for Lettuce & Hyacinth together in cattail.

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