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Lake Trafford is Becoming Clearer
Lake Trafford in Immokalee Florida is on the mend and residents couldn’t be happier. The largest natural lake in Florida south of Lake Okeechobee is important to Florida’s ecosystem; it marks the headwaters of Corkscrew Swamp and the Imperial river and Cocohatchee River watersheds.

Lake Trafford was once sandy bottomed, but nutrient runoff in the watershed resulted in thick layers of hydrilla. The hydrilla was easily controlled using herbicides, but the dead plant material covered the lake bottom, releasing additionally nutrients which triggered algae blooms.

The Lake Trafford restoration project began in 2004 with an investment of $21.4 million. Three feet of muck was removed from the lake bottom between 2004 and 2007. Although a shallow lake anyways visibility has increased to about a foot and desirable aquatic plants such as eelgrass and bulrush are thriving and providing habitat and food for wildlife.

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Minnesota Aquatic Plant Control May Require Permit - Aquatic plants serve many important functions in lakes; they prevent shoreline erosion, stabilize bottom sediments, provide habitat for fish and wildlife, and tie up nutrients that might otherwise grow algae. The removal of too many aquatic plants can impair their ability to perform these important functions.


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