Managing Aquatic Plants in Lake Apopka is the focus of a public meeting in Winter Garden on Tuesday, Jan. 24 hosted by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC). The meeting is from 6-9 p.m. in Tanner Hall, 29 W. Garden Avenue in Newton Park, Winter Garden,

The goal of this meeting is to solicit public input on managing aquatic plants in Lake Apopka in order to develop the 2012-13 aquatic plant management plan for the lake.

Input from a wide variety of user groups is important to create a balanced approach to managing aquatic plants in Lake Apopka and the FWC will consider all comments.

“We want to know what business and property owners, anglers, hunters, bird watchers, boaters and others who have a vested interest in the lake think about current and future aquatic plant levels and management options; now is the time to get involved,” said Nathalie Visscher, an FWC invasive plant management biologist.

Visscher will provide a brief update and overview on past and present aquatic plant management efforts. Dr. Michael Netherland from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will make a presentation on the role of aquatic vegetation in Florida waters and the complexities associated with managing invasive plants in a multiple use system like Lake Apopka.

After the presentations, the FWC encourages the public to comment and discuss the level, types and management of aquatic vegetation desired and key areas of interest and concern.

“This is part of an ongoing process to maintain a regular dialogue with stakeholders about aquatic plant management on Lake Apopka and we strongly encourage everyone interested in aquatic plant management efforts on Lake Apopka to attend this meeting and give us your thoughts,” said Visscher.

For more details about the meeting, contact Nathalie Visscher at 321-228-3364.