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Herbicide Residues in Lake Sediments: Understanding Herbicide Fate

Dr. Jason Ferrell, Center for Aquatic and Invasive Plants, University of Florida, IFAS
8 July 2020

  • Bio Dr. Jason Ferrell, Center for Aquatic and Invasive Plants, University of Florida, IFAS

    This presentation highlights stakeholder driven research addressing concerns about herbicide residues preventing vegetation establishment for sport fish habitat. Lake Istokpoga is a 27,000-acre lake in south-central Florida that is nutrient rich and supports a renowned population of largemouth bass for recreational fishing. This lake has historically grown vast amounts of hydrilla that local anglers have begun to rely on as structure and habitat for sport fish. Following Hurricane Irma in 2017, thousands of acres of hydrilla disappeared from the lake and has not returned. Many local stakeholders attributed the failure of hydrilla reestablishment to decades of herbicidal management of hydrilla and other invasive plants. Their concern was that herbicide had increased in the hydrosoil until it had become toxic to all plant life. To address this concern, a 3-pronged research strategy was developed: 1) have the stakeholders identify locations in the lake where hydrilla once grew but is no longer present, 2) have stakeholders assist with taking sediment samples that could be sent for laboratory analysis of herbicide residues and for greenhouse bioassay, and 3) sample these same locations for hydrilla tubers. Listen to find out how to integrate research and outreach to build trust and relationships with local lake advisory groups and community members.

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