Water-Related News

County looks for help to protect Harris Chain of Lakes

TAVARES — Lake County Commissioners approved two letters Tuesday asking for assistance maintaining the Harris Chain of Lakes against growing invasive plant and pollution problems.

The pollution issue is currently under control, but hydrilla, an invasive plant species that can spread between lakes as easily as getting caught in a propeller, is putting up a major threat, commissioners said.

According to the letter to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, the plants have spread more aggressively in the wake of recent hurricanes, meaning the problem will only become more expensive unless more aggressive care is taken in the next year.

Compounding the issue is a reduction in funds statewide to deal with invasive aquatic plants.

County Commissioner Tim Sullivan said the issue is a big one for the area, which depends on the Harris Chain for economic activity as well as more leisurely pursuits such as boating and fishing.

The spread of hydrilla over the chain in the past year has already begun to interfere with those things, according to Sullivan.