The Waterlefe Community Development District Board of Supervisors is moving forward with a plan to help reduce invasive plants in the Waterlefe Golf and River Club's ponds.
After a workshop with the Southwest Florida Water Management District (SWFWMD) today, the board decided during its regular meeting to proceed with acquiring grass carp to help alleviate an overabundance of hydrilla. Hydrilla is a submersed perennial herb originating from Africa and Southeast Asia which has become an invasive species in many parts of Florida, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission’s website. The plant can grow an inch a day and clog up waterways, reduce water oxygen levels and provide a breeding ground for mosquitos.
“We need to start it in the canal,” said Rosalyn Warner, a supervisor. “When you can’t get a boat out, there is a problem.”
Installing carp requires a permit from the FWC. Before acquiring the permit, Waterlefe must install a barrier system which will prevent the fish from leaving the community and entering into natural habitats, such as the Manatee River, which sits on the northern boarder of the development.
However, the carp will not eat the algae which is also filling ponds within the community. Part of the reason the algae is spreading is because grass clippings fly into the ponds when the grass is being cut, said John Brocki, vice chairmen.
“Instead of having sod to the edge of the pond, there are other things, plantings and other things we can do,” he said.
The board voted to move forward with barrier installation so that it can get the permit for the carp.