Lake Parker aquatic vegetation harvesting project will remove invasive plants
LAKELAND – The City of Lakeland will be executing an aquatic plant harvesting project for invasive water hyacinth and overgrown spatterdock in the southwest cove of Lake Parker beginning in March 2019. Water hyacinth is a floating, invasive aquatic plant that grows very rapidly and can crowd out beneficial native plants if not managed. Excessive stands of spatterdock have also become overgrown and are crowding out other beneficial native species that are required to provide habitat diversity in the lake.
Polk County Natural Resources Department under its contract with Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission has recently applied herbicide to the aquatic vegetation that will be removed during this project. Mechanically removing the treated vegetation using an aquatic harvesting boat will prevent unmanageable floating tussocks that could impede navigation and disrupt habitat, as well as prevent the decaying plants from sinking to the bottom of the lake resulting in excess nutrients that contribute to water quality issues. Texas Aquatic Harvesting Inc. will utilize a mechanical in-lake aquatic plant harvester and shore conveyor to remove the aquatic vegetation from Lake Parker. The City will then dispose of the aquatic vegetation at the BS Ranch and Farm in Polk County.
Harvesting activities will begin late March 2019 and are expected to be complete by late May 2019.