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May 10, 2005

The Southwest Florida Water Management District will be treating water hyacinths and water lettuce on portions of Lake Tarpon May 16-19.

Scattered infestations of these plants will be treated within shoreline areas and canals on Lake Tarpon.

Treatment involves the spot application of the aquatic herbicide Reward. Treatment areas will be posted with warning signs displaying treatment dates and applicable restrictions. Restrictions on Reward include no livestock watering for one day, no irrigation of crops for five days and treated lake water should not be used for drinking for two days. Restrictions do not apply to tap or well water.

Water hyacinth is a troublesome aquatic plant from South America that was brought to Florida in the late 1800s. It is a fast-growing plant that expands quickly.

Water lettuce is a troublesome floating aquatic plant from South America that was first discovered in Florida in 1765. It is considered one of the worst weeds in the subtropical and tropical regions of the world and can double its population in less than three weeks.

If these aquatic plants are not controlled, recreational activities, navigation, flood control and fish and wildlife populations are negatively impacted. The management of these plants on Lake Tarpon is a cooperative effort between the District and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection.

For more information, please call the District at 352-796-7211 or 1-800-423-1476.

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