Help Protect Crooked Lake from Invasive Plant Species

Staff from the Polk County Natural Resources Division recently presented to the Defenders of Crooked Lake Board of Directors regarding their ongoing efforts to prevent the spread of invasive plants in Crooked lake. Their primary targets include Water Hyacinth, Hydrilla, Cuban Bulrush, and West Indian Marsh Grass. A copy of the presentation from Polk County Natural Resources is available at this link.

A recent study by the University of South Florida identified 57 species of wetland vegetation growing in Crooked Lake, 45 of which were native species. The study classified Crooked Lake as “Healthy”. However, it’s important to remain vigilant in controlling non-native species before they spread beyond control.

Polk County staff regularly treat non-native species via airboats and helicopters. Their high-priority treatment areas are shown on the map below.

High priority treatment areas for aquatic vegetation.

If you observe any non-native species in Crooked Lake, please contact Polk County Natural Resources at 863-534-7477.