Water-Related News

FWC conducts habitat restoration project at Lake George

FWC logo

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) is leading a major freshwater habitat restoration project on Lake George in Lake and Volusia counties from April 1-June 30, with assistance from the Fish & Wildlife Foundation of Florida.

Staff will install fenced enclosures to protect native submersed and emergent plant species from plant-eating wildlife until the plants are established. This year’s efforts have been scaled up from previous years with plans to construct multiple large enclosures to protect more than 150 acres of lake bottom. Fences are marked by tall PVC pipes with reflective markings.

At approximately 46,000 acres, Lake George is the second largest lake in the state. Historically, the lake contained thousands of acres of submersed native plants in shallow areas, primarily eelgrass, which provided important habitat and food for native fish and wildlife, including manatees. This vegetation disappeared from the lake following Hurricane Irma in September of 2017 and has yet to re-establish.

Native plant species including eelgrass and water lily provide foraging and protective habitat for a variety of fish and wildlife species, and enhance water quality by filtering nutrients, improving water clarity and stabilizing lake sediments.

The FWC and its partners work together to enhance and restore fish and wildlife habitat in Florida. Since 1994, the Fish & Wildlife Foundation of Florida has raised and awarded more than $50 million in grants to the FWC and other public and private partners. For more information about the FWC’s Aquatic Habitat Conservation and Restoration projects, visit MyFWC.com/AquaticHabitats.