Secure the legacy - a fundraising...
 Calendar order form
 Red tide
 Volunteer bulletin board
 An update on the largemouth bass...
 Bryozoa (Moss Animalcules)


Florida Lakewatch newsletter
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00055470/00031
 Material Information
Title: Florida Lakewatch newsletter
Physical Description: v. : ill. ; 28 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Florida LAKEWATCH
Publisher: Dept. of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences of the Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS) at the University of Florida (UF)
Place of Publication: Gainesville FL
Creation Date: 2007
Frequency: irregular
completely irregular
Subjects / Keywords: Lakes -- Periodicals -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Genre: government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
periodical   ( marcgt )
serial   ( sobekcm )
General Note: Description based on v. 9 (spring 1997); title from caption.
General Note: Latest issue consulted: v. 33 (2006).
 Record Information
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: oclc - 65383070
lccn - 2006229159
System ID: UF00055470:00031


This item has the following downloads:

FLWVolum40 ( PDF )

Table of Contents
    Secure the legacy - a fundraising update
        Page 1
    Calendar order form
        Page 2
    Red tide
        Page 3
        Page 4
        Page 5
    Volunteer bulletin board
        Page 6
    An update on the largemouth bass stocking project on Lake Griffin
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
    Bryozoa (Moss Animalcules)
        Page 11
        Page 12
Full Text

F lori da


Secure the Legacy-A Fundraising Update

The most difficult task any
organization can undertake is the
raising of private funds. This is true
no matter how much money seems
to be out there or how good the
cause. Success, however, is
achieved through commitment,
making the personal contacts, and
LAKEWATCH volunteers have
demonstrated all three of these
traits of success over the past few
months, resulting in the raising
of over $44,000. Much of this
money has come through the
purchase of LAKEWATCH Legacy
bricks. As the Christmas holiday
approaches, consider donating a

I .-

brick for each of your loved-ones
or someone else that is special!
Substantial funds have been
raised through soda/candy/chip
sales in the name of Florida
LAKEWATCH or the highly awarded
youth education program, Fishing
for Success. Other funds are now
arriving from donations for the
LAKEWATCH calendar. The
calendar is an excellent way you
can help to spread the word about
LAKEWATCH to fellow Floridians as
well as friends who live outside
Florida. Besides, it is a beautiful
product that will grace any wall!
Other funds come to
LAKEWATCH from our friends who

TL.- .
--T T T-^


Pictures of the current LAKEWATCH facilities and a diagram of the proposed new

have contributed to building the
"Home" for LAKEWATCH and
Fishing for Success. An anonymous
donor just sent a contribution of
The campaign for a
great progress given that "word of
mouth" has been the primary
means of communication. Radio
and TV shows have been released
in parts of Florida as well as news
articles in statewide publications.
Success, however, will only be
achieved with each of you making
the personal contacts and
persisting with the request for
help. Available funds are close to
$100,000 given past efforts and
future pledges, but the fund-raising
committee established a goal of
$1,000,000 so the LAKEWATCH
team has a long way to go. The
LAKEWATCH advantage is that the
State of Florida will match each
dollar raised. If each of you will
reach out to your neighbors and
others using our lakes and coastal
waters, the pooling of many small
contributions will get the hard task
of funding a LAKEWATCH HOME


2008 Florida LAKEWATCH Calendar Order Form

The 2008 Florida LAKEWAl'CII Calendar will be available October 22, 2007. We are
currently accepting pre-orders. To receive a calendar print out this order form, fll it
outL and send the order form along with your donation (suggested donation is $15 to
$20 per calendar) to:
Florida LAKEWATCH Calendar
7922 NW 71st Street
Gainesville, FL 32653

Make CHECK out to: University of Florida Foundation, Inc. SHARE
in the MEMO line write: Florida LAKEWATCH Building

Email Address Phone # _
Donation Amount Number of Calendar(s)
Number of Calendar(s) sent Date Sent Initials


An aerial view of Red Tide moving into a southwest Florida beach.

Red tide, sometimes referred to as
harmful algal blooms (HAB), occurs
when toxic, microscopic algae in
seawater proliferate to higher-than-
normal concentrations known as
blooms, often discoloring the water
red, brown, green, or yellow. While
more than 40 species of toxic micro
algae live in the Gulf of Mexico, the
most common species is called
Karenia brevis also known as the
Florida red tide organism.
The Florida red tide organism was
identified back in 1947, but anecdotal
reports of the effects of red tide in
the Gulf of Mexico date back to the
1530's. Florida red tides occur in the
Gulf of Mexico almost every year,
generally in the late summer or early
autumn. They are most common off
the central and southwestern coasts
of Florida between Clearwater and
Sanibel Island, but they may occur
anywhere in the gulf. They also
occur, but are less common, along

the southeastern Atlantic coast as far
north as North Carolina. Most blooms
last three to five months and may
affect hundreds of square miles,
however, blooms can continue
sporadically for as long as 18 months
and may affect thousands of square
Karenia brevis is a common
photosynthetic dinoflagellate (a type
of free floating algae) found year-
round throughout the Gulf of Mexico.
It has two whip-like appendages, or
flagella, that propel and direct it
through the water. In Florida waters
K. brevis thrives in high-salinity
areas, but it can tolerate a wide
range of salinities and temperatures
common to the Gulf of Mexico. This
species is able to out-compete other
phytoplankton (free floating algae)
and forms nearly monospecific
Karenia brevis produces

brevetoxins that is capable of killing
fish, birds, and other marine animals.
Bottom-dwellers such as groupers
and grunts are usually the first fish to
die in a Florida red tide, although
most fish are probably susceptible.
Mortality, in terms of numbers killed
and species affected, can be severe
and is dependent upon factors such
as bloom density and the length of
time animals are exposed to the
Brevetoxins may also cause
health problems in humans. The
toxins accumulate in shellfish that are
filter feeders, such as oysters, clams,
and coquinas, and may reach levels
capable of causing neurotoxic
shellfish poisoning (NSP) when
ingested. NSP is a temporary illness
characterized by gastrointestinal and
neurological distress. Symptoms
include nausea and diarrhea;

Continued on page 4.

RED TIDE! (continued from page 3)

dizziness; muscular aches; and
tingling and numbness in the tongue,
lips, throat, and extremities.
Symptoms of NSP usually appear
within a few hours of eating
contaminated shellfish and disappear
within a few days.
Brevetoxins can also irritate eyes
and respiratory systems when the
toxins become airborne in sea spray;
the irritation disappears once a
person is no longer exposed. Other
public health effects caused by red
tides include puncture wounds from
spines when beaches are littered with
dead fish and, rarely, contact
dermatitis from exposure to
brevetoxins in seawater.
Florida red tides have economic
impacts as well. Tourist communities
lose millions of dollars when dead
fish wash up on beaches or
beachgoers experience eye and
respiratory irritation. Shellfish-
harvesting businesses lose income
when shellfish beds must be closed
because of Karenia brevis blooms.
Even tourism, recreational activities,
and other businesses not actually at
the bloom site may be adversely
affected. Although it is hard to
calculate actual dollars lost, a study
of three red tide blooms that occurred
in the 1970s and 1980s estimated
losses from each event at between

A victim of the Red Tide in Northwest

$15 million and $25 million dollars.
Prior to the early 1970's, Florida
red tides were believed to originate
inshore because discolored water,
fish kills, and respiratory irritation
were most often observed first
around passes and barrier islands.
Later review of the historical data
compiled from research cruises
showed that Florida red tides actually
begin in nutrient-poor water offshore.
Resting populations of K. brevis are
believed to exist in the water column
or sediments in specific areas on the


t Florida (October 2007).

west Florida continental shelf.
Biologists have documented the
occurrence and abundance of the K.
brevis organism for more than 50
years. Most sampling occurred after a
bloom had already begun as
evidenced by reports of dead fish,
discolored water, or respiratory
irritation. Data collected from such
response-oriented monitoring is
incomplete and limited because by
then it would be too late to study the
initiation and growth phases of the
bloom. Bloom detection using
satellite technology and color imagery
began in the 1970's. In the satellite
images, different concentrations of
chlorophyll are seen as different color
densities, and the color densities are
correlated with cell densities of K.
brevis. Satellites can be used to track
surface blooms as they move, but
they cannot yet detect bloom
development or subsurface blooms.
Several research programs have
been used to study the possibility of
mitigating the effects of red tides
through prediction or advanced
warning. One such project is the
federally funded Ecology and
Oceanography of Harmful Algal
Blooms (ECOHAB) program.
ECOHAB investigators in Florida
collect data from research cruises
and from moored buoys to study
the biology of K. brevis and its

movement in response to
environmental variables such as
temperature, salinity, and currents
monitored on the continental shelf.
Physical, chemical, and biological
data are used to model and
predict bloom initiation, growth,
maintenance, and dissipation or
termination; to evaluate life-cycle
processes; and to study the
transport and eventual fate of the
A pilot project called the
Harmful Algal BloomS Observing
System (HABSOS) is another
federally funded program to
collect from federal, state, and
academic laboratories all available
data on red tide events and to
compile the information in a
central, accessible, continually
updated repository. Such a
database will give investigators
the ability to study events as they
occur and perhaps forecast the
movement and probable effects of
a bloom. The Florida Harmful
Algal Bloom Task Force was
established in 1997 to identify
gaps in the data already collected
and to recommend additional
research and monitoring needed
on Florida red tides and their
associated effects. The Task
Force consists of representatives
from federal agencies, state and
local governments, water
management districts,
universities, private laboratories,
and a citizen-volunteer
organization. The volunteer
program was established in 2000
to help monitor the extensive
region over which Florida red tides
may occur. Volunteers collect
water samples from established
offshore transects in a network
extending from Pensacola to the
Florida Keys and send them to the
Florida Fish and Wildlife Research
Institute (FWRI) for analysis.
Red tides are a part of
Florida's history and will most
likely remain a part of its future.
Scientists continually strive to
learn more about factors affecting
the growth and intensity of K.
brevis blooms. Although the

Dead fish from Red Tide with an inset of a m

biology of the organism and the role
that red tides play in the dynamics of
the Gulf of Mexico ecosystem are still
not fully understood, predictive two
and three-dimensional models are
being developed and tested. Data
generated through traditional




icroscopic look at Karenia brevis.

environmental sampling and
monitoring, in combination with data
generated through newer approaches
such as remote sensing and
modeling, may give us the ability to
forecast red tide events and mitigate,
or even eliminate, their effects.

The information used to compile this article came from the
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission's Fish
and Wildlife Research Institute.

For more information on Red Tide and the current status of Red tide in
Florida visit:

http://research. m yfwc. com/features/

and click on "Red Tide"

Making Cities a Greener Place to Live- The Orlando Example

It's always about leadership. Orlando, a city of vision, knows this. That's why the City of Orlando is asking local
business leaders to join its innovative Orlando Green Business Program. The program encourages business owners to
become partners in protecting Orlando's waterways.

The program can be applied to a variety of businesses, but during the initial phase the city has developed specific
programs for restaurants, vehicle maintenance facilities and lawn care/maintenance specialists. In the future, the
Orlando Green Business Program will be expanded to other types of businesses.

Specifically, the Orlando Green Business Program arms business owners with the knowledge and tools they need to
reduce their pollution in stormwater runoff. Although the program is free for local businesses, there are several steps
to becoming an Orlando Green Business Program member. They are:

Participate in an on-site stormwater review by City of Orlando staff
Select a representative to be responsible for implementing and following the Green Business guidelines, as well
as act as a liaison between the participating company and Orlando's Green Business Coordinator
Review the booklet, Orlando's Lakes: The City Beautiful's Natural Connection to understand the vital connection
between what we do and what happens to our waters as a result
Follow and post Best Management Practices throughout facilities
Spread the word by requiring employees to participate in trainings/presentations provided by city staff
Have all pertinent employees sign pledges stating they will continue their commitment to reduce the pollutant
load to our lakes and streams
Once businesses have completed all of the program requirements, they will receive:
Free publicity on the city's Web site and in a variety of publications featuring articles about the Orlando Green
Business Program
Orlando Green Business certification
Promotional materials, such as posters and decals, to share with employees and customers
Recognition from Mayor Buddy Dyer

Small changes in the way we do business result in major benefits to our local lakes. Stormwater transports everything
in its path-trash, oil, grease, grass clippings, fertilizers and pesticides- into our waterways. Stormwater runoff
impacts our drinking water supplies, alters aquatic habitats and puts our unique quality of life at risk.
We have more than 100 lakes in the City of Orlando, and by working together we can improve water quality in each

Citrus County
There is a change in the collection centerfor Crystal River:
The collection center at Oyster's Resturant has
been moved to the Crystal River Preserve State
The new contact information is:
Crystal River Preserve State Park
3266 N Sailboat Ave.
Crystal River, FL 34428

Keep those samples flowing!

Please be sure to deliver all frozen water and chlorophyll
samples to your collection center as soon as possible. This
will enable us to prepare the annual data reports on

We'd also like to take this opportunity to thank you for your
hard work and dedication!


The Florida LAKEWATCH Crew

An Update on the Largemouth Bass Stocking Project on Lake Griffin

Lake Griffin is a large 9,428 acre
lake located in the Ocklawaha River
basin near Leesburg, Florida. In 1999,
the Florida Fish and Wildlife
Conservation Commission (FWC)
reported that the sport fish population
and fishery of Lake Griffin was at a
historical low point. The average
biomass of Florida largemouth bass
(Micropterus salmoides floridanus)
per unit effort of sampling in the
vegetated zone of Lake Griffin was
81% lower when compared to the
average largemouth bass biomass
sampled in 1986. During fish
sampling in 1999 and 2000, the FWC
found an extremely low density of
largemouth bass and documented
very few small, young of the year
juveniles, indicating a possible
problem with reproduction.
Consequently, the Florida
proposed a research/demonstration
project to transfer substantial numbers
of largemouth bass greater than 8
inches in total length into Lake
Griffin with the goal of restoring the
economic vitality of Lake Griffin's
largemouth bass fishery. Three main
objectives of this stocking program
were to: 1) mitigate damage done to
the largemouth bass fishery while
waiting for ongoing environmental
restoration programs to improve
largemouth bass habitat in Lake
Griffin, 2) determine if sufficient
numbers of largemouth bass greater
than 8 inches in length could be
collected from private waters and
successfully transferred to Lake
Griffin, and 3) determine if the
stocking program could contribute to
the economic vitality of Lake
Griffin's largemouth bass fishery.
This project was funded and
supported by the Harris Chain of
Lakes Restoration Council and the
Lake County Water Authority
(LCWA). In 2005, the LCWA
contracted with FLW to implement
the transfer of approximately 4,000
largemouth bass into Lake Griffin.
The LCWA then evaluated the project

and considered it to be successful, so
the project was funded again in 2006
and 2007.
In 2007, a total of 4,666
largemouth bass were transferred into
Lake Griffin. Approximately 58% of
the largemouth bass collected for
transport were between 8 and 12
inches in length. The remaining 42%
of the largemouth bass stocked were
12 inches or greater in length and
weighed from 2.5 to 9.3 pounds.
Since 2005, the total number of
largemouth bass stocked into Lake
Griffin that were greater than eight
inches was 13,933, with 7,024 of
those fish measuring over 12 inches
in length.
About 50% of the bass stocked
into Lake Griffin were fitted with
orange plastic tags that were
numbered and printed with the toll-
free telephone number for the Florida
LAKEWATCH program. These tags
helped FLW monitor the progress of
the project.
The FLW and FWC assessed the
potential impact to the resident bass
population of Lake Griffin of

stocking almost 14,000 largemouth
bass from 2005 through 2007. Florida
LAKEWATCH recaptured a total of
87 tagged fish that were stocked in
2007 and 36 tagged fish that were
stocked in 2005
and/or 2006. Florida LAKEWATCH
captured tagged largemouth bass in
68% of their lake-wide sampling
sites. The Florida Fish and Wildlife
Conservation Commission captured
22 tagged fish that were stocked in
2007 and 5 tagged fish that were
stocked in 2005 and/or 2006 during
their sampling of Lake Griffin.
Approximately 10% to 13% of the
fish collected by FLW and FWC were
tagged fish. The fact that stocked fish
comprised 10% to 13% of total fish
collected indicated that FLW had
achieved a temporary increase in the
number of largemouth bass available
to anglers in Lake Griffin.
When undertaking a stocking
program of larger-sized fish, the
ultimate question that arises is the
cost/benefit to the funding agency.

Continued on page 8

Florida LAKEWATCH personnel Dan Willis places an orange tag into a largemouth
bass before stocking the fish into Lake Griffin.

An Update on the Largemouth Bass Stocking Project on Lake Griffin (continued from page 7)

Although this project was not
designed to directly measure
economic impacts, the information
that was collected could provide some
limited insights for the LCWA.
According to the 2001 National
Survey of Fishing, Hunting, and
Wildlife-Associated Recreation
published by the U.S. Department of
Interior in 2001, Florida anglers spent
an average of $1,341 per angler per
year on fishing. This means that Lake
Griffin anglers could have spent
between $858,240 and $1,716,480 in
2007 alone. Since the beginning of
the project in 2005, it is possible that
from $4,800,780 to $9,601,560 could
have been spent by anglers fishing in
Lake Griffin.
A more conservative way of
examining cost/benefit relationships
is to calculate the replacement or
recreational value assigned by the
State of Florida according to the
Florida Administrative Code 62-
11.001. The replacement value in
2006 dollars for largemouth bass
transferred in 2007 would be $68,341
and the recreational replacement
value would be $74,694. Since
December 2004, the total replacement
value and recreational replacement
values would be $230,692 and
$352,843, respectively. These
findings suggest that the largemouth

L,, i



A largemouth bass with inserted orange tag
ready to be stocked into Lake Griffin.

Florida LAKEWATCH personnel Darren Pecora releases a tagged largemouth
bass into Lake Griffin.

bass stocking program has generated
considerable economic activity in the
local community. However, absolute
dollar estimates can be obtained only
when a comprehensive economic
analysis of the sport fishery is
This research/demonstration
project showed that considerable
numbers of larger-sized Florida
largemouth bass could be collected
from private waters during a
reasonable time window (determined
by water temperature) and
successfully transported to Lake
Griffin. The underlying goal was to
assist in restoring the economic
vitality of Lake Griffin's largemouth
bass fishery. Information obtained
from angler reports, as well as

reports from local fish camp owners,
revealed that anglers fishing in Lake
Griffin and other lakes of the Harris
Chain were catching a substantial
number of the transferred
largemouth bass and were spending
their money in the Harris Chain of
Lakes area. It appears that the
LCWA received an immediate
return on their investment and
economic returns should continue
over the next few years given the
practice of catch and release by
most largemouth bass anglers.
However, the magnitude and
duration of economic returns to the
community will require that anglers
maintain an optimistic attitude about
the potential for fishing success at
Lake Griffin.

Drought! Here We Go Again.

In 2001 LAKEWATCH published an article in our Florida LAKEWATCH newsletter (Vol. 18) on
the bright side of Florida's drought. During that time the whole state was experiencing a severe
drought. We thought that given the current drought conditions in parts of the state this year,
ve should revisit the effects of drought on aquatic ecosystems in Florida.

A drought is an extended period of
months or years when a region notes a
deficiency in its water supply. Generally
this occurs when a region consistently
receives below average rainfall.
According to the October 2007 drought
summary provided by the Florida
Department of Environmental Protection
(FDEP), the statewide drought conditions
have improved since this summer but
FDEP still has concerns about the
upcoming historically dry winter season.
During the summer
most of Florida
experienced drought
conditions, but as we
approach winter it
appears that only
northwest Florida is
experiencing severe
drought conditions.
According to the
Northwest Florida
Water Management
District the average
rainfall across the
district (Tallahassee to
Pensacola) was 22
inches below normal as
of October 19, 2007. -
As we reported in.
Volume 18 of the .. ,--;
newsletter, there are Juniper Lake in
some benefits of panhandle.
drought. This summer,
the South Florida Water Management
District (SFWMD) took advantage of a
record low lake level in Lake
Okeechobee to remove muck from the
lake. The District's governing board
approved more than 11 million dollars to
remove a total of 3.8 million cubic yards
of muck. The District conducted a similar
muck removal project during the 2001
Also in Lake Okeechobee
archaeological benefits of the drought
recently surfaced. The exposed lake
bottom yielded thousands of pieces of

pottery, five boats and a number of
human bone fragments. Most of the
bones were extremely fragmented and
were estimated to be 500 to 1000 years
old. Because of the estimated age of the
fragments the state has alerted the
Seminole and Miccosukee tribes of the
bones. The five boats were considerably
younger and included a steam powered
dredge, possibly used to dig canals, a
steamship, a wooden motorized canoe
and a catfish boat from the early 1900's

. A.-.- .
;..- -- q-..
Walton County after several months of severe d

One of the vessels was 50 to 60 feet long.
Archaeologists have left most of the finds
in the lake but did remove a few items.
Drought can affect Florida's coastal
areas as well. Because of record low lake
levels in Lake Okeechobee, the SFWMD
has released little or no water into the
Caloosahatchee River this year. This has
reduced the flow of murky fresh water
into the river and eventually into San
Carlos Bay at Ft. Myers allowing greater
light penetration and higher salinities in
the estuaries associated with the river.
Just to the south of San Carlos Bay,

FDEP scientist working in the Estero Bay
Aquatic Preserve noticed expansion
(from 5-25% coverage to 50-75%
coverage) in seagrass coverage versus
two years earlier when the effects of
increased water releases from Lake
Okeechobee due to repeated hurricanes
caused significant decreases in seagrass
coverage. The FDEP scientists reported
that the mouth of the Caloosahatchee has
seen the greatest increase of seagrass bed
coverage in the area.
During the
drought of 1999-
2001, the
SDepartment of
Fisheries and
Aquatic Sciences
(FAS) at the
University of Florida
was conducting a
study of the
physical, chemical
and vegetative
characteristics of
five gulf coast
Rivers. FAS
Discovered that
during the time of
drought and low
water in the
Chassahowitzka and
SHomosassa Rivers,
Y the submersed
rht in the Florida
aquatic vegetation in
the rivers decreased,
especially in the lower reaches of the
rivers. They also noticed that during
the drought the submersed plants in
the lower reaches of the rivers
switched from freshwater species to
more saline tolerant ones. During
severe drought periods saltwater
intrusion in coastal areas can affect
coastal river ecosystems.
While drought can certainly affect
aquatic ecosystems here in Florida in
both positive and negative ways,

Continued on page 10

Drought! Here We Go Again! (continued from page 9)

it is important to remember that the
cycles of floods and droughts that Florida
experiences is natural, normal and
recurring. According to the Florida Fish
and Wildlife Conservation Commission
(FWC); "Florida's ecosystems are
dependent on this cycle of drought and
flood to maintain healthy fish and
wildlife populations. The long-term
benefits of droughts and floods often
exceed the short-term negative effects."
Some of the benefits listed by the FWC
were increased effectiveness of planned
habitat enhancement projects,
opportunities for improvement to boat
ramps, docks and seawalls, and increased

angling opportunities to fresh water
anglers as marine species are able to
travel further up river in some river
systems. Some of the negative affects
listed were increased sinkhole
formation resulting in lake drainage,
increased stress on fish due to salinity
increases in tidal creeks and low
water levels that can trap fish,
resulting in fish kills from low
dissolved oxygen.
Florida can also feel the effects of
drought in other states. The State of
Georgia's attempt to press the Federal
government to temporarily lift the
Endangered Species Act and reduce

the amount of water flowing from
Lake Lanier (the source of Atlanta's
drinking water) could affect Florida's
ecology and economy according
Governor Charlie Crist in a letter to
President Bush earlier in November.
This renewal of the tri-state water
wars resulted in Officials from the
White House, the Department of the
Interior and the U.S. Corps of
Engineers meeting with the governors
of Florida, Georgia and Alabama to
work out a temporary plan for how
the three states would share the
much-reduced waters of Lake Lanier.

Areas of exposed lakebed of Lake Okeechobee. The area is normally submerged, but is now dry because of a severe drought.

So while the drought may temporarily cause problems and a change to
Florida waterbodies, our main message is this...don't give up! It will
rain again and water levels will eventually return to "normal." When
that does happen, LAKEWATCH volunteers will have a chance of a
lifetime to participate in the collection of some extremely important
water chemistry data. So keep up the good work and stay tuned!


S(Mos Ani ----- What is That?

Bryozoa are predominantly found
in salt-water habitats with 4000
species listed as marine and only 50
species restricted to freshwater. As a
group, they are often confused with
their ecological analogs, the corals,
but they are unrelated taxonomically.
All bryozoans are colonial with
growth habits determined as a
function of water energy. The growth
forms include encrusting and massive
or domal (blob-like) forms found in
high-energy environments such as
shallow lakes with a lot of wind
activity and branching or erect forms
found in low energy environments
like protected backwaters.
In Florida, the freshwater species
are usually found in unpolluted and
unsilted waters of shallow ponds,
lakes, and streams. Bryozoa usually
occur where the light is dim as in
colored waters. Colored or stained
waters are often the result of the
leaching of tannins and humic acid
from plant material and soils
surrounding the waterbody.
The picture submitted by our
LAKEWATCH Volunteer on Oak
Lake in Hamilton County is of a
healthy specimen of Bryozoa known
as Pectinatella miii gitic i. The colony
is gelatinous, firm, and slimy to the
touch. The inner mass is composed
mostly of water and the surface
appears to be divided into little
rosettes. Millions of individuals can
form one colony. In each colony,
different individuals assume different
functions: some gather food, others
are devoted to strengthening the
colony, and still others clean the
colony. Bryozoans have no blood
system as gaseous exchange occurs
across the entire colonial surface.
Massive colonies may exceed 2 feet
in diameter, but typical sizes are 1
foot or less. As you can see by the
photo this specimen is a champion!
All bryozoans are filter feeders.
The bryozoan's diet consists
primarily of small microorganisms,
including diatoms and other
unicellular algae. Studies have shown
that bryozoans can filter

free-floating algae) less than 0.045
mm in size (1/1800 of an inch) from
the water column and that each
individual in a colony can clear 8.8
ml (almost 1/3 of an ounce) of water
per day. A large colony would act as
a living bio-filter clearing several
gallons to several thousand gallons of
water a day.
Bryozoa themselves are an
element in the diet of many
freshwater invertebrates and some
Bryozoans can reproduce
sexually and asexually. Asexual
reproduction occurs by budding off
new individuals as the colony grows
and is the main way colonies expand.
Sometimes part of the colony breaks
off, but it can continue to grow and
will form a new colony.
All freshwater bryozoans are
hermaphroditic, having both male and
female sexes present in the colony. A
unique feature of freshwater Bryozoa
is the production of highly resistant
statoblasts. Statoblasts are an
asexually produced encapsulated bud
of the freshwater bryozoans that
appears with the onset of hot weather
and functions mainly in tiding the
species over unfavorable conditions
such as droughts and drastic changes

in water quality and temperature.
Statoblasts also aid in geographic
dissemination. There are reports that
statoblasts occur in mud found on the
feet and feathers of waterfowl and the
fur of mammals. In fact, some
statoblasts are capable of germinating
after passing through the digestive
tract of waterfowl, turtles, frogs,
salamanders, and fish.
The lengths of the statoblast
dormant period are highly variable
depending on the species, the
individual, temperature, and other
environmental conditions, but the
majority over winter and germinate
the following spring.
Rising temperatures initiate
active budding in bryozoans and to
some degree sexual reproduction.
Most American species attain their
greatest abundance in the summer
when the water temperature reaches
23 C (72 F) or higher. Colonies of
Pectinatella mi,,iicitil usually die off
when the water temperature goes
below 16 C (60 F).
A review of the literature
indicates large floating gelatinous
colonies of Pectinatella miiigitic i
can clog the screens of water intakes

Continued on page 12

A bryazoan (Pectinatella magnifica) collected by LAKEWATCH volunteer Tom
Neeley of Oak Lake in Hamilton County.



Department of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences
7922 NW 71st Street
Gainesville, FL 32653

FCornid a

This newsletter is generated by the Florida
LAKEWATCH program, within UF/IFAS'
Department of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences
Support for the LAKEWATCH program is provided
by the Florida Legislature, grants and donations For
more information about LAKEWATCH, to inquire
about volunteer training sessions, or to submit
materials for inclusion in this publication, write to

GanmevileFL 32653
E-mail fl-lakewatch@ufl edu
http //lakewatch ifas ufl edu/

All unsolicited articles, photographs, artwork or other
written material must include contributor's name,
address and phone number Opinions expressed are
solely those of the individual contributor and do not
necessarily reflect the opinion or policy of the Florida


Bryozoa (Moss Animalcules)---- What is That? (Continued from page 11)

Pectinatella magnifica growing attached to a submersed surface.

and grates of hydroelectric plants. If
your lake water is not used for
irrigation or cooling power plants
then Pectinatella mnurii, ic i should
not be a nuisance, just another
marvelous curiosity of your lake

environment to enjoy. Pectinatella
inuriig/ic a has been observed on three
dark water lakes in the Florida
LAKEWATCH program: Oak/
Hamilton, Holden Pond/Alachua, and
Little Orange/Alachua.