Management of aquatic plants in Florida is the purview of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC). That management has become a hot topic in recent months as anglers raise objections to the agency's programs that target invasive species such as water hyacinth, water lettuce and hydrilla. In response to public complaints and concerns about chemical spraying, FWC will temporarily suspend the aquatic herbicide spraying program while they gather community input during several public meetings. These meetings will provide the public with an opportunity to learn about the agency’s aquatic plant herbicide treatment program and provide feedback about management activities on Florida water bodies.
The meetings will be held at the following times and locations (all meetings are from 5:30-8:30 p.m. local time):
- Feb. 6 – Kissimmee: County Commission Chambers, fourth-floor Osceola County Administration Building, 1 Courthouse Square
- Feb. 7 – Okeechobee: Okeechobee County Civic Center, 1750 U.S. Highway 98 N.
- Feb. 13 – Sebring: Bert J. Harris, Jr. Agri-Civic Center, 4509 George Blvd.
- Feb. 26 – Eustis: Eustis Community Center, 601 Northshore Dr.
- There will be a Gainesville area meeting scheduled with the date and time to be determined.
B.A.S.S. encourages anglers to take the time to learn more about the program, the legislative mandates the agency must work under and the programs goals. More information can be found at https://myfwc.com/wildlifehabitats/habitat/invasive-plants/faqs/. Anglers can participate by attending one of these meetings or providing comments on-line atInvasiveplants@MyFWC.com.