Thursday, January 24, 2013

2013 Kissimmee Hydrilla and Lake Maps Now Available!

Map of abundance and location of hydrilla on Lake Kissimmee


Reduced-risk Herbicides & More Access to Maps

Most recreational users of our nation’s lakes admit that invasive plants and animals cause problems.  These accidental invaders infest our waterbodies, often clogging waterways and impacting the balance of the ecosystems. 
Hydrilla is one of those invaders, and widely managed because of its ability to overtake native plants at uncontrollable rates. 
Aquatic Ecosystem Restoration Foundation (AERF) and several natural resource agencies have been actively evaluating several new, reduced-risk herbicides.  The results are expected to help guide water resource managers for selective Hydrilla control in lakes, rivers, canals, and reservoirs.  By being plant-specific, these herbicides will continue to support past practices of managing invasive plants while limiting impacts on non-target plants. 
As part of the herbicide evaluation process, mapping techniques are being improved.  These techniques are allowing resource managers to gather faster and more detailed information on plant locations, effectiveness of controls, and overall biomass reduction rates.  This highly detailed process gives plant managers something they did not have in the past, a nearly precise measurement of plant control. 
One example is the work being conducted by the Fish andWildlife Conservation Commission and University of Florida.  They evaluated the submersed plant communities on the four main Kissimmee Chain lakes in January, 2013.  From this information they were able to gage the impacts and regrowth potential from previous hydrilla control efforts.  These details will help them better plan where future hydrilla management may be needed in spring of 2013. 
The submersed plant images are posted with bathymetric maps for each of the four lakes of the Kissimmee Chain on the UF / FWC website.  Navigate down the webpage and select the first letter of the lake you are interested in viewing.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Pre-practice Comes to a Close

Father Time caught up with me and I had to end my pre-practice session for 2013 on Kissimmee Chain of Lakes.  The past two months have been nice, allowing me time to examine the conditions of the lakes and moods of fish at a leisurely pace. Now it’s late January, and my tournament season is fast upon me.  The first event, Bassmaster Weekend Series, is scheduled on the Kissimmee Chain of Lakes in two weeks, immediately followed by the Bassmaster Southern Open event Jan 31-Feb 2.
The Kissimmee lakes are acting very typical, with bass in all three phases of spawning.  Professional anglers like Chris Lane are predicting good weightsWeed control efforts against the overgrowth of nuisance Hydrilla have taken affect.  Some lakes are fishing easy, giving up ten pounds limits within minutes, others were difficult at best.  The new lake maps that Florida's fish & wildlife agency has been placing on the Internet were very helpful to my practice.
Taking advice from Gary Klein I plan on fishing to my strengths.  That is, I plan on keeping a spinnerbait in my hand and slow rolling my bait through the deep, open waters of the chain.  Over the years I have been able to catch many bass six to nine pounds with this technique and for the Southern Opens I know that I have to concentrate on quality fish, not just limits. 

In pre-practice I had to slow down even more and occasionally cast a worm to a submersed plant bed to check if bass were present.  As you see, they were!
Kissimmee Chain of Lakes pre-practice bass, 2013