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Hunters Lake Tussock removal project Underway

By Florida's Original NatureCoaster™ Posted on November 10, 2017

The Hernando County Aquatic Services and Waterways Division and the Department of Public Works are working cooperatively with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FFWCC) on a tussock removal project located at Hunters Lake in Spring Hill. This project will improve fish habitat, water quality as well as navigation and recreation within the lake.

Tussocks are thick floating islands of vegetative mats composed of native and/or non-native plants. They grow on a buoyant mat consisting of plant roots and organic matter. If left un-managed, tussocks can expand to levels that may be detrimental to the health of the lake.

One of three harvesters removing tussocks from Hunters Lake.
Photo credit: Keith Kolasa

Texas Aquatics, the contractor selected for the project, will be operating three harvesters to remove the tussocks. Removal of these mats will prevent organic material from accumulating on the bottom of the lake. The tussock removal process is underway with a total of 14 acres targeted for elimination over the next four to five weeks. Once completed, the FFWCC plans to harvest an additional five acres around the west side of the lake.

“Hunters Lake was once the best bass fishing lake in Hernando County and we hope this project will help return the lake to more historic, pristine conditions,” Chairman Wayne Dukes stated. “Funding was provided through the County’s quality of life fund to help improve fishing and recreation opportunities on the lake.”

The total cost for the County’s portion of this project is $150,000 with and additional $50,000 budgeted by FFWCC.

Aerial view of harvester removing tussocks from Hunters Lake. Photo credit: Keith Kolasa

For more information about this project, call Fred Lapiana with Hernando County’s Department of Public Works or Keith Kolasa with the Hernando County Aquatic Services and Waterways Division at 352-754-4060 or email at [email protected].