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Water Management Associations
The Right Amount of Hydrilla
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, the state’s lead agency for hydrilla control since July 1, 2008 faces a daunting challenge. Not only must the agency manage the spread of hydrilla it must maintain waterways for boating navigation and flood control, but it must also consider the wants of Florida residents.

While everyone agrees that hydrilla must be managed, it is the “how” that creates differences of opinion. Hydrilla is an excellent habitat for fish, waterfowl and marsh birds, but unchecked the species can over-take the entire surface of a lake which in turn hinders sport-fish growth. Ducks feed on the hydrilla so duck hunters want the stands of hydrilla left until February to attract the waterfowl.

Herbicide spraying on a large scale is expensive especially after hydrilla developed resistance to SONAR in 2000, now the chemical Aquathol K is being used which costs $300 - $500 per acre. And, despite the application of tons of herbicides in the past two decades, the weed always comes back with a vengeance.

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Starry Stonewort Battle Could Switch to Hand-to-Hand Combat - Lakes that are over-managed with chemical treatments, which can kill native plant species, can actually increase the spread of some non-native species. While the treatment may temporarily reduce a starry stonewort population, it also opens the door to future spreading by potentially killing native plants that would otherwise compete with the invasive species.

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