The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) plans to conduct aquatic plant treatments via helicopter on Lake Istokpoga in Highlands County on Tuesday, Oct. 17. The treatment areas will include shallow water marshes on Bumblebee Island and Big Island. About 100acres will be treated, and the project should take only one day to complete. 

The objective of this treatment is to manage emergent marsh plant communities at a low to moderate density, promoting biodiversity and providing high value marsh habitat for wildlife. These areas of the lake provide high quality foraging and nesting habitat for the endangered Everglade snail kite, wading birds, waterfowl and other marsh species.

The treatment will target stands of pickerelweed, cattail and primrose that are crowding out beneficial plant species. It will be selectively applied, leaving native plant species, such as spatterdock and other water lilies, spikerush, duck-potato and native aquatic grasses, in the areas being addressed.

The FWC contractor will treat the marshes with an herbicide approved for use in lakes by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. There are no restrictions on use of lake water for fishing, swimming or drinking.

Treatment areas will be posted at boat ramps, and FWC staff will be present to ensure safety precautions are being followed. For information about this project, contact Carly Althoff at 863-697-6323.

News Reporter