June 12, 2007

The Southwest Florida Water Management District will be treating water hyacinth and water lettuce on portions of Shell and Prairie creeks June 18-21. The sites are located upstream of the Henderson Dam in Charlotte County.

Treatment involves the spot application of the aquatic herbicide Reward to scattered infestations. Treatment areas will be posted with warning signs that display treatment dates and applicable water use restrictions. Treated river water should not be used to drink, water livestock or irrigate lawn and ornamental plants for one day. Treated river water should also not be used to irrigate crops for five days. Water restrictions do not apply to tap or well water.

Water hyacinth is a free-floating plant from South America that was introduced to Florida in the late 1880s. It is a fast-growing plant that can double in as little as two weeks and expands rapidly in Florida waters. Water lettuce is another invasive species and is considered one of the worst weeds in the subtropical and tropical regions of the world.

If these aquatic plants are not controlled, recreational activities, navigation, flood control and fish and wildlife populations may be negatively impacted. The management of these plants on the Shell and Prairie creeks 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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