Polk County Parks and Natural Resources Invasive Plant division in cooperation with Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) will treat Lake Hollingsworth for hydrilla beginning on Feb. 27th, weather permitting. The entire lake will be treated by air boat, using the aquatic herbicide SONAR.
Once the herbicide treatment has been applied to Lake Hollingsworth, using water from the lake to irrigate could result in injury to irrigated vegetation. An irrigation precaution is recommended for at least 90 days during the SONAR treatment process. The City of Lakeland Division of Lakes and Stormwater will be monitoring the herbicide concentrations in the lake throughout the hydrilla treatment period with water sampling and lab tests. Area residents will be notified when the herbicide concentrations have dissipated and it is safe to resume irrigation with lake water.
There are no restrictions for fishing or swimming associated with this treatment. SONAR is approved for use in lakes by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.
Hydrilla is an exotic aquatic plant spread easily by boats throughout the state's lakes and rivers. It clogs waterways, making recreational activities difficult or impossible and it chokes out beneficial native plants. Managing and treating it is necessary for the health of Florida's waters and to enable continued recreational boating and other aquatic activities.