TALLAHASSEE — The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) and the Big Cypress Basin of the South Florida Water Management District are partnering on an aquatic habitat restoration project in Lake Trafford in May. The project will enhance native plant coverage that has been reduced over the years due to nutrient build up and hurricanes.
Thousands of native aquatic plants are being transplanted into Lake Trafford, a 1,600-acre natural lake in Collier County, to help restore this popular sport fishing and boating location. The project will plant 15,000 giant bulrush plants; 10,000 coastal spikerush plants; 2,500 lance-leaf arrowhead plants; and 25 pond apple trees in the lake’s shallow water marsh along the north, west and east shorelines.
The FWC is also planting thousands of eelgrass plants, a native submersed freshwater species, and spatterdock (also known as yellow cow-lily) plants along the shallow edges of the lake’s marsh and lakeward of Trafford Slough on the east side of the lake.
This aquatic habitat restoration project is designed to enhance the biodiversity of the native plant community in the lake’s shallow marshes as part of ongoing restoration and habitat enhancement activities for Lake Trafford. Native aquatic plants are important for sportfish populations and provide better opportunities for anglers, while also serving as a valuable food source and habitat for many other fish and wildlife species.
The Big Cypress Basin Board approved and funded $22 million of the original Lake Trafford restoration project and is pleased to provide additional funding to FWC for this expanded restoration effort. This project directly addresses goals and recommendations within the Lake Trafford Management Plan to plant native emergent and submersed vegetation in strategic areas to improve fish and wildlife habitat.
For more information about the FWC’s Aquatic Habitat Conservation and Restoration projects, visit MyFWC.com/AquaticHabitats.
For general waterbody information, fishing forecasts, virtual tours, plant control operation schedules and annual workplans, boat ramp information, and more, visit the “What’s Happening on My Lake” website at MyFWC.com/Lakes.
For more information about this project, contact Rodney Hudson with the FWC’s Aquatic Habitat Conservation and Restoration Section at 863-697-0851.