Water-Related News

FWC hosts local hydrilla stakeholder meeting

TAVARES - More than 50 local stakeholders weighed in on hydrilla control Tuesday evening.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission held a public meeting at the Tavares Civic Center to gauge lake-users’ thoughts on where and how hydrilla, a fast-growing invasive aquatic plant, should be managed in the Harris Chain of Lakes.

It’s a complicated issue with opinions all over the board.

“It makes for great fishing, and it’s good for the environment,” said Greg Ghere, a fisherman. “It provides oxygen and cleans the water. It makes a great place for bass fry to hide. But it also gets stuck in your propeller and can be hard to deal with. It’s a double-edged sword.”

To kick off the meeting, Nathalie Visscher, an FWC invasive plant management regional biologist, gave an overview of hydrilla infestations and proposed herbicide spraying sites. She said the agency prioritized navigation and access points.