Frequently Asked Questions
It is normal and healthy for a lake to have aquatic plants and algae growing in them. They help support a fish population and take up excess nutrients.
There are many functions a lake can provide, and it should be managed accordingly. Weeds and algae can be controlled in many ways. The first step in a plant management process is the identification of weeds and algae. A lake management professional can help with plant identification and recommend options to allow the lake to provide the preferred functions.
Toxic algae (aka harmful algal blooms - HAB), such as blue-green algae, thrive in warm, slow-moving waters, especially when dissolved nutrients are high. Toxic algal blooms can be debilitating to native plant and animal species in the water and surrounding areas. They also create foul odors. Some species of blue-green algae can also produce toxins that can harm animals and humans.
Florida Blue-Green Algae Task Force: Blue-Green Algae Task Force
To report Blue-Green Algae Blooms: Algal Bloom Contacts | Florida Department of Environmental Protection
DEP FAQ: Freshwater Algal Blooms Frequently Asked Questions
Non-native invasive plants did not grow locally until an outside source brought them in. They have different growth patterns than native plants and sometimes take over native plants. Some invasive plants have the potential to proliferate rapidly. They form a "monoculture" or stand of one type of invasive plant. This reduces the habitat diversity that native insects, birds, reptiles, fish, amphibians, and mammals need to survive.
Not all non-native plants are invasive, and not all native plants are non-invasive. The main difference between a non-native and native invasive plant is that a non-native invasive plant is a species that is not native to a particular area and has been introduced by human activity. Native invasive plants are species native to an area but have become invasive due to changes in the environment.
Nuisance plants are plants that are a problem in a particular area. They can be invasive, noxious, or simply unsightly. Nuisance plants cause a variety of problems. They can outcompete and even eliminate native plants. Some harm human health and can cause skin irritation or allergic reactions. Property damage is another concern. Nuisance plants can grow over roofs, sidewalks, or other structures, causing damage. Some nuisance plants have highly flammable oils that pose a fire hazard.
Noxious plants are plants a government agency has designated as harmful to agriculture, human health, or the environment. Noxious plants are often regulated by law and may require special permits to control or remove. Some of the most common noxious plants in Florida include Brazilian pepper, melaleuca, Australian pine, old world climbing fern, and water hyacinth, all outcompete native plants.