Mechanical harvesters to return to Lake O

Mechanical harvesters will return to Lake Okeechobee in the next few months, according to information shared at the July 28 virtual meeting of the Lake Okeechobee Aquatic Plant Management Interagency Task Force.

The harvesters are currently working on Lake Kissimmee.

They were preapproved to use the harvesters in the Indian Prairie Canal but ran into a problem with the site where they planned to deposit the aquatic vegetation. Due to recent rainfall, the trucks could not get to the disposal site.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is also working on a plan to use a combination of chemical herbicides and fire to control cattails in two areas on the north side of the lake in Gourd Island and Cody’s Cove. This is in the planning phase and not yet scheduled.

“Spraying out cattails and replacing them with open marsh is wonderful work,” said Newton Cook of United Waterfowlers Florida. He asked them to avoid the first part of September when duck season starts.

“Be sure the duck hunters don’t get disturbed by helicopters,” he suggested.

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