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August 31, 2007

The Southwest Florida Water Management District will be treating water hyacinth and water lettuce on portions of Shell Creek and Prairie Creek Sept. 10-13. 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. Treated areas will be posted with warning signs displaying treatment dates and applicable water use restrictions. Water treated with Reward should not be used for livestock watering for one day, irrigation of lawn and ornamental plants for one day, or crops for five days. Treated creek water should not be used for drinking for one day. 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 and can double its population in less than three weeks.

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.

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 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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