District Takes to the Air to Treat Hydrilla on Lake Panasoffkee

Hydrilla Spraying

The District took to the air this spring to treat hydrilla on selected areas of Lake Panasoffkee. The aquatic herbicide Aquathol K was applied to approximately 200 acres of the 4,000-acre lake.

Aerial application by helicopter is used when large, open-water areas require treatment and is much more efficient than by boat. The helicopter was able to treat approximately 10 acres per trip, completing the 200-acre area in a couple hours. This treatment would have taken several days to complete by airboat.

Lake Panasoffkee has not required hydrilla treatment for many years. However, the plant has expanded significantly within the past year.

Hydrilla is a troublesome aquatic plant from Southeast Asia that escaped into Florida’s lakes and rivers during the late 1950s. The fast-growing submerged plant expands quickly and has the ability to grow densely from the bottom to the water surface.

If not managed, hydrilla may impact recreational activities, navigation, water quality, beneficial native plant communities and fish and wildlife populations.

The District works in cooperation with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission to control invasive aquatic plants.