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January 17, 2007

The Southwest Florida Water Management District will be treating water lettuce on the Rainbow River in Marion County Jan. 22-25. Water lettuce infestations will be treated from the Rainbow River State Park to the Withlacoochee River.

Water lettuce will be spot treated with the aquatic herbicide Reward. Treatment areas will be posted with warning signs displaying treatment dates and applicable water use restrictions. Water use restrictions in areas treated with Reward include no livestock watering for one day, no irrigation of turf or ornamental plants for one day or crops for five days and treated water should not be used for drinking for one day. This does not apply to tap or well water.

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 in less than three weeks.

Recreational activities, navigation, flood control and fish and wildlife populations can be negatively impacted by the rapid growth of invasive aquatic species. Aquatic plant management operations on the Rainbow River are 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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