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Florida Lake Management Society Annual Conference, Naples, Florida, June 4 – 7, 2007


David Glicksberg and Jason Mickel Hillsborough County Public Works, Stormwater Management Tampa, FL David Eilers, James Griffin, and Sarah Koenig Tampa, FL


This paper illustrates a lake management and restoration project on Lake Valrico in central Hillsborough County where the lake residents have been battling Hydrilla verticillata (hydrilla) for many years with limited success. Since 2005, the County has provided assistance to the lake community with this effort by developing and implementing a plan to reduce the hydrilla population without negatively impacting water quality. This paper will outline two years of planning, implementation, methods, data collection, citizen involvement, and lessons learned.

Background & Discussion

The Hillsborough County Lake Management Program is a cooperative program between Hillsborough County and the Southwest Florida Water Management District (SWFWMD). The program incorporates assistance, expertise, and resources from the University of Florida LAKEWATCH Program, the University of South Florida, and Hillsborough Community College as well as Hillsborough County Stormwater Management and Mosquito and Aquatic Weed Control. It is the goal of the Lake Management Program to assist citizen groups in achieving an understanding of each lake ecosystem through the best available science, education, and monitoring techniques.

Hillsborough County is uniquely challenged in our management effort in that most of our lakes (over 200) are private with no public access; thus, our capabilities are limited. However, many of these lakes are linked via natural or altered connections and ultimately flow into other water bodies, several of which are on the state’s impaired waters list, including Lake Valrico. Many lakes also receive suburban stormwater runoff or have direct stormwater discharge as a result of a County or FDOT project. Typically, stormwater projects focused on moving and storing water to reduce flooding and water quality was usually an after thought. However, the County now considers water quality issues when designing new stormwater projects. The Stormwater Management Environmental Team will provide assistance to engineers during the design and review period. Also, when possible, the Lake Management Program will assist residents with restoration projects that improve water quality, increase native plant populations, remove invasive plants, and restore natural communities.

Lake Valrico is approximately 105 acres of open water with the actual lake area at 142 acres, based on the lake perimeter at ground level. The lake is presently listed by the Clean Water Act Section 303 (d) Impaired Water’s List for nutrients under the Tampa Bay Tributaries Group 2 Basin Verified List. Nitrogen and phosphorus are limiting nutrients based on a TN/TP

Session 6A – Page 6

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