SEAFWA 2018 has ended
The following schedule is from the 72nd Annual Conference of the Southeastern Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies which was held October 21-24, 2018 in Mobile, Alabama. 
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Tuesday, October 23 • 9:20am - 9:40am
SYMPOSIUM-05: Florida’s Aquatic Invasive Plant Management: A Love-Hate Relationship

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AUTHORS: Ryan Hamm, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission

ABSTRACT: With shallow, nutrient rich waterbodies and subtropical climate Florida has a long history of invasive aquatic plant infestation and management. Invasive floating plants water hyacinth and water lettuce have been present in Florida since at least the 1890’s and hydrilla was first introduced in the early 1950’s. In the aquatic systems where they occur they are a persistent issue, requiring consistent management to reduce impacts to infrastructure and access. These plants are also valued by many recreational anglers and hunters. Bass anglers often focus their effort on areas of hydrilla and floating plants and relate their angling success to a coverage of exotic plants that is very difficult to maintain over time. Many species of ducks consume hydrilla and research has shown it is a preferred food source for the most harvested duck in Florida; the Ring-necked Duck. As such, most Florida duck species will readily use hydrilla habitats in lieu of native ones. Therefore, many duck hunters in Florida want dense topped out hydrilla during waterfowl season and developed advocacy groups that champion that desire.As managers, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) biologists must juggle the concerns of flood control, access and navigation, quality habitat, and desires of a wide range of stakeholders that do not often fit together nicely. To best manage hydrilla, FWC has developed processes where waterbodies are managed on an individual basis depending on the uses and function of that waterbody utilizing input from stakeholders via surveys, public meetings, and planning groups.

Tuesday October 23, 2018 9:20am - 9:40am CDT
Grand Bay II

Attendees (6)