ATTENTION!! - Lake Okahumpka Users
This is a notice to anyone that hunts or fishes on Lake Okahumpka. The FWC will be starting up a major habitat enhancement project out there and has asked me to get the word out to all the duck hunters in this area. This project will involve using a cookie cutter machine to come in and chop up significant amounts of floating vegetation and tussocks in an effort to increase the amount of useable open water on the lake.
This project will ultimately remove significant amounts of tussocks and floating vegetation that currently blanket portions of the lake rendering those areas virtually unusable. It will be very beneficial to the lake and anyone that uses it as it will open up more areas to hunt and fish as well as help to promote the growth of submerged aquatic vegetation, something that both duck hunters and fishermen agree is essential to their respective sports.
This project has been in the pipeline for several months, however it has taken until now to get the necessary permits to move forward with it. How will this affect the duck hunting season? The plan is to start work immediately then suspend all activities on the lake 1 week prior to early Teal season and resume immediately after early Teal season ends. Subsequently, work will continue throughout October but once again all activities will be suspended, this time 2 weeks prior to the Saturday opener before Thanksgiving,. During the split itís possible there will be some construction work done, however that is done only as conditions deem it necessary and will stop before the second split opens. Once the second split starts, construction will not start up again until after the youth hunt weekend in early February. Iíve attached a calendar of the construction schedule for reference.
Iíve also attached a photo of the lake with the project work areas highlighted. The initial work will be starting tomorrow (Saturday), it will be in one of the 2 larger areas, and it will affect only a portion of that particular area. The plan is for the work to be done between the shoreline and the line of cattails out in open water in an effort to contain whatever shredded material there will during this initial phase of the project. There will be no restrictions and all areas of the lake will be open for both the early Teal season as well as the regular duck hunting season.
To be clear, this does not involve spraying or chemical treatments of existing submerged vegetation, this effort is aimed at removing the floating vegetation and tussocks that currently plague the lake and create more open water and marsh while promoting the growth of beneficial submerged vegetation necessary for a healthy lake/marsh ecosystem.
The FWC has done a lot of good for the duck hunters in this state, much of which goes unnoticed, and they continue to do more when and where they can. For all their efforts on our behalf we owe them our thanks. Feel free to ask questions about this project, either here or directly to the FWC man in charge of this project (contact information listed below) and weíll do what we can to answer them as best we can. Thanks.
FWC Project Supervisor:
Bruce V. Jaggers
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission
Aquatic Habitat Restoration and Enhancement
601 W. Woodward Ave.
Eustis, FL 32726
352-800-5024; Cell: 352-516-0122
Originally Posted by duckbone:
QUOTA PERMITS...the root of all evil in florida hunting.