The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission says it is seeing positive results from a habitat enhancement project on East Lake Tohopekaliga that began in 2019 in Osceola County.
The East Lake Toho drawdown project has been taking place since 2019 and according to FWC biologists there are signs of success from their efforts on aquatic plant management and restoration work. Bass, bluegill and redear sunfish are now using the recently restored areas for spawning. Clusters of spawning beds can be found throughout the site where habitat enhancement work has been done. Native vegetation including pondweed, eelgrass, spikerush and water lily are growing naturally in areas of the restoration zone.
In May and June of this year, the FWC planted 46,000 Kissimmee grass plants and 30,000 duck potato plants to provide high quality native habitat for fish and wildlife. They were planted on the northeast shore where dense, woody shrubs/trees and associated muck was mechanically scraped from the lake bottom in spring 2020 during the Drawdown and Habitat Enhancement project.
As part of the continued restoration efforts, the FWC will manage approximately 130 acres of dense cattail on the north shore over the next several months. Throughout the lake, cattail will continue to be surveyed and managed to maintain desirable densities and promote aquatic plant diversity for fish and wildlife.
This aquatic habitat restoration project is designed to enhance the diversity of the native plant community to provide quality habitat for fish and wildlife and improve access for recreational activities.