Lake Thonotosassa



  • Largest natural lake in Hillsborough County with a surface area of greater than 800 acres
  • Popular for recreational use as it is one of the few natural lakes in the area with public access
  • Discharges into the Hillsborough River which is used for municipal water supply for the City of Tampa


Four main challenges exist in the Lake Thonotosassa watershed:

  • Nutrient loadings from the watershed have caused extreme nutrient-enrichment resulting in algal blooms
  • Decline in habitat quality and species diversity
  • Increased abundance of non-native plant species
  • Decline in the abundance of desirable sport fish


Through cooperation with other government agencies, these challenges are met by:

  • Reducing nutrient loadings through recently completed stormwater improvement projects
  • Maintaining a regular maintenance schedule for controlling exotic plants within new project areas
  • Enhancing wetland and aquatic habitats
  • Increasing public education and awareness of stormwater pollution prevention and the importance of water quality and wetlands

Success Indicators

Successful project implementation is indicated by:

  • Meeting pollutant reduction goals for nutrients and chlorophyll-a
  • Increase in water clarity
  • Increase in eelgrass bed coverage and other aquatic vegetation

Future goals are then developed through an adaptive management process, always striving to help restore Florida’s natural ecosystems.