An edition of: WaterAtlas.orgPresented By: USF Water Institute

Water-Related News

Invasive grass species threatens Braden River ecosystem

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission uses liquid copper to rid the Braden River of tape grass, an aquatic plant that could dominate native vegetation and damage wildlife.

Standing at a dock at Jiggs Landing last week, Denise Kleiner grabbed a fishing net, and poked its handle into the water of the Bill Evers Reservoir.

She pulled the handle out of the water, and it was covered by a large clump of what many of us would call seaweed. It was a big ball of dripping, grass-like goo.

"There is some of it there," Kleiner said, pointing at a few different spots on the gooey ball.

Kleiner, the general manager of the Jiggs Landing Preserve and president of Florida Boat Tours, was pointing out what she called eelgrass, or the Old World Tape Grass that currently is plaguing the Braden River. They are very similar and yet dangerously different.

While eelgrass is generally considered an aquatic plant that is native to the state, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is on the lookout for Old World Tape Grass.

Florida Fish and Game has sent biologists and other employees on a regular basis to launch boats at Jiggs Landing to travel up and down the Braden River looking for the invasive plant. On a wall next to the rest rooms as you enter Jiggs Landing is somewhat of a wanted poster with the headline "Invasive Plant Advisory."