Army Corps update on Lake O plant maintenance


CLEWISTON — In order to meet mission requirements for Federal Navigation and Flood Risk Management, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Jacksonville District, will conduct treatments of floating aquatic plants (water hyacinth and water lettuce). The corps’ area of responsibility includes the south end of the lake from Pelican Bay to Uncle Joe’s Cut, including Route 2 from Port Mayaca to Moore Haven and the Rim Canal from Moore Haven to Old Sportsman’s. Treatment of vegetation will be conducted by a contractor.

Due to the suppressed aquatic plant management on Lake Okeechobee, USACE no longer is in maintenance control of these invasive floating plants. With high lake levels and rapid seasonal growth, these invasive plants along with tussock material are floating into canals and federal channels, blocking navigation and impacting flood control structures around the lake.

Mechanical removal techniques are being implemented in the Rim Canal south of Moore haven lock to remove blockages.

As of Monday, Oct. 5, USACE contractors will be treating invasive vegetation between Route 1 (Clewiston approach), section of Route 2, Coot Bay, East Wall and the area between the East Wall and Ritta Island. Approximately 260 acres of invasive plants are present in these areas.