County Commissioners Address Lake Seminole Hydrilla

By  | 

Lake Seminole has a green giant taking over its waters, an aquatic weed called Hydrilla.

"We've definitely had complaints of Hydrilla getting caught up on the propellers and slowing up the motors and just kind of ruining people's days when they're trying to come out here and have a good day on their boat," Park Ranger Katherine White said.

But Seminole County Commissioner Chuck Orrick says the plant is more than just a nuisance, it's a hazard.

"It's dangerous to be swimming in, several years ago we had a man's boat drift away from the loading dock and then trying to retrieve it he drowned getting tangled up in the Hydrilla that's in our lake right now," Orrick said.

The Hydrilla has gotten so bad, some locals are going to other lakes for their recreational activities.

"I also have talked to a lot of duck hunters this year who told me that they were concerned and didn't know if they would be coming back because the birds that they shot, they couldn't use their dogs to retrieve them because of the weeds," Orrick said.

Orrick says it's also been affecting Seminole County's businesses and real estate market.

"A lot of people bought houses for investments, bought property on Lake Seminole and because of the weeds and the different issues that we have with not being able to access the water from their home sites. People are leaving the area or some people are not coming and moving once they've bought land," Orrick said.

The Board of Commissioners will establish a committee to address the situation, inviting help from experts.

"We're going to request the Corps of Engineers that they reinitiate plans to help us clean up Lake Seminole to suppress the weeds, to try and identify out of the box plans,"

Orrick says plans could include reintroducing grass eating carp or draining part of the lake during the cooler seasons to let nature take its course and eliminate the Hydrilla.

The meeting is Wednesday July 24th at 10:00 a.m. at the Seminole State Park's Group Shelter. The meeting is open to the public.