Title: Florida Lakewatch newsletter
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00055470/00039
 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
Publication Date: 2010
Copyright Date: 2010
Frequency: irregular
completely irregular
Subject: Lakes -- Periodicals -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Genre: government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
periodical   ( marcgt )
General Note: Description based on v. 9 (spring 1997); title from caption.
General Note: Latest issue consulted: v. 33 (2006).
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00055470
Volume ID: VID00039
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: oclc - 65383070
lccn - 2006229159


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Market Surpasses 10,000!

Florida like so many
states is experiencing
financial difficulty,
but it is the individual
citizens who are
feeling the greatest
pain during the
recession. For some r
talking heads, the -
only barometer that
will be linked to
people feeling better
is when the stock
market passes the
10,000 mark!

Well back to lakes.
volunteers, Florida's Florida's cit
citizen scientists, LAKEWATC
helped the program pass another
10,000 milestone. LAKEWATCH
now has a database of 10,755
lake-years of data on phosphorus,
nitrogen and chlorophyll for 1312
Florida lakes. Over two hundred
lakes have been sampled for over
15 years with some individual
lakes approaching the 25-year

This size of this database is
unprecedented in the United

izen scientist, like these in Highlands County, helped
H develop a database of 10,755 lake years of data.
States (probably the world) and is
a true tribute to the hard work and
dedication of our citizen
scientists. But, the Florida
LAKEWATCH story becomes
even more impressive when we
remember that the Florida
Legislature established the
Florida LAKEWATCH program
(Chapter 1004.49 F.S.) in 1991 to
provide general background and
scope of the information on
Florida lakes and to establish

trends in lake water

Since 1991, monthly
samples for nutrients
(total phosphorus and
total nitrogen), algal
biomass (chlorophyll)
and water clarity
(Secchi disc) have
been collected for a
group of 44 lakes
from 1991 to 2009
44). Additionally a
group of 100 lakes
have been sampled
monthly from 1995 to
2009 (The

These two datasets now represent
the most robust compilation of
quantitative water quality data
available in Florida for assessing
water quality trends over time.

So, first let us discuss the good
news. The State of Florida's
Department of Environmental


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Protection is working to establish
a "status and trend monitoring"
network of Florida waters because
of concerns about the impact of
nutrient enrichment. The
LAKEWATCH 44 index and the
LAKEWATCH 100 index permit
us to assess water quality trends
in Florida right now. Using the
LAKEWATCH indices, which
incorporate the same lakes
sampled over the same time
period for each index, there are no
significant differences in nutrients
(total phosphorus and total
nitrogen), chlorophyll and water
clarity for our Florida lakes (as a
group) since the 1990s!

Seeing no major increasing in
nutrients and algal biomass
among Florida lakes as a group
over a long time period (also a
period of rapid growth) is
comforting, but most Floridians
and certainly LAKEWATCH's

Citizen Scientists do not
particularly care about the
"status" of Florida waters; rather
they care about the lake with the
most common name in Florida
and elsewhere MYLAKE.

Examining water quality trends
over time in the LAKEWATCH
lakes (200 lakes) with 15 or more
years of data shows total
phosphorus and total nitrogen
concentrations decreased in 13%
and 11% of the lakes,
respectively. Chlorophyll
decreased in 15% of the lakes and
water clarity increased in 10% of
the lakes. On the other hand, total
phosphorus and total nitrogen
concentrations increased in 36%
and 41% of the lakes,
respectively. Chlorophyll
increased in 22% of the lakes and
water clarity decreased in 35% of
the lakes. Given that 59% to 78%

of the lakes (depending on the
water quality parameter of
interest) had either improvements
or showed no change, it is again
suggestive that the nutrient
enrichment issue may not be as
severe as once thought.

With fewer lakes showing
increases in nutrients, the task of
ascertaining what is happening at
each lake becomes more
manageable. For example, Little
Lake Santa Fe is an "Outstanding
Florida Water" and had low
phosphorus concentrations until
recently (Figurel). The rapid rise
in the total phosphorus
concentration was due to a natural
9000-acre forest fire in the
adjacent Santa Fe swamp. The
fire got into the ground and
burned the "muck" so the increase
in in-lake phosphorus
concentrations was due to a









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0 1000 2000 3000 4000 5000 6000 7000 8000

Julian Day Since 08.16.1986

Figure 1. Total phosphorus concentrations in Lake Little Santa Fe over time since August 16, 1986, the first date that
Little Santa Fe was sampled for the LAKEWATCH program.

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natural event, not a human

Nutrient enrichment should
always be a concern for
individuals interested in lakes, but
proper lake management requires
that all the issues of concern be
placed on the table and
prioritized. For far too long the
professional community has
expressed the belief that the most
important elements in lake
management were the control of
phosphorus and nitrogen, but the
most important elements are the "
control of silver and gold -
Storm water runoff in a ditch draining to Cub lake in Seminole County.

Available dollars need to be
directed to solving the concerns
of the citizens. In some cases, it
may be the lack of aquatic
vegetation or too much vegetation
(an aquatic weed problem). Or, it
could be storm-water bringing too
much sediment causing a lake to
become to shallow for boating.
z Dredging could be needed. It
could also be a fish and wildlife
.: management problem, but
a, regardless of the issue each lake
g. will ultimately need an individual
.management plan to insure the
." long-term usability of the lake for
our citizens.
Mechanical harvesting of an aquatic "weed" problem in Lake County.

Nutrient enrichment should always be a

concern for individuals interested in

lakes, but proper lake management

requires that all the issues of concern be

placed on the table and prioritized.

Florida's freshwater
anglers are truly blessed with
7,700 lakes greater than 10 acres,
covering 3 million total acres, and
approximately 12,000 miles of
fishable rivers, streams and
canals. That is a lot of diverse
habitat for more than 200 species
of native freshwater fishes, plus
more than 23 species of nonnative
fishes that reproduce in our
waters. Relatively little of that
habitat could qualify as pristine,
although most of it provides for
quality fishing opportunities.
There are a few topical concerns
facing Florida that could impact
fishing in the state.
Recent news articles from
the U.S. Geological Survey
(USGS) reported widespread
mercury contamination in fish
nationwide. This is an issue the
Florida departments of Health,
Environmental Protection and
Agriculture and Consumer
Services along with the Florida
Fish and Wildlife Conservation
Commission (FWC) have been
carefully monitoring. Together
these agencies are reminding
Floridians that eating fish is an
important part of a healthy diet
and that active outdoor recreation
such as fishing and boating can be
an important key to a happier,
healthier lifestyle.
Eating a variety of fish
provides an excellent source of
nutrition. For most people, fish
caught in Florida do not pose a
significant health concern with
regard to mercury; however, it is
advisable for women of child-

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Good fisheries habitat typically includes uncc
firm lake bottoms and a diversity of native a

bearing age and young children to
select fish that are low in
Another USGS release
announced that effluent from
women's birth control pills has
affected fishes creating a
feminizing effect caused by these
hormones. However, research is
also looking at the affect of other
chemical stressors that aren't
directly related to hormones, such
as pesticides, heavy metals and
cleaning compounds. Nationally,
44 percent of male black bass
tested had egg cells growing in
them, and the affect was found in
six of the nine rivers tested
nationally. The only river tested
in the USGS study from Florida
was the Apalachicola where 60
percent of bass from near
Blountstown were intersex.
Although, the FWC has done
some background sampling and
work with the University of
Florida to further expose the
problem in the Sunshine State

)ntaminated water, clean


contaminated water, clean
aquatic plants.

much work remains to determine
how this issue will impact fish
populations and what can be done
to safeguard them and the public.
Summer fish kills have
always been common in Florida,
and it is important to note that
these are consistently associated
with low dissolved oxygen levels
in the water and not typically with
pollutants. These historic and
natural kills are related to some
simple physical and biological
First, warm water can hold
less dissolved oxygen than cold
water. Second, fish and other
animals need dissolved oxygen to
live, and when they pass it
through their gills, they remove
oxygen-for that matter so do
other animals, including bacteria
that live in the water. Third,
plants in the water on sunny days
create oxygen, but they use
oxygen at night or on cloudy
days. A little oxygen is also
dissolved into the water at the

Florida Fisheries Habitat
By Bob Wattendorf of the Florida Wildlife Conservation Commission

interface with the atmosphere. So
what happens when you get few
hot rainy days? Put it all together,
and the warm water has less
oxygen to start with, and rains
sweep debris (such as grass
clippings and leafs) into the
water. Helpful bacteria start
growing and reproducing to break
down the debris and start using up
lots of oxygen. With overcast
skies, the plants in the water can't
produce oxygen and have to use
it, so before long there isn't
enough oxygen to go around. If
this occurs slowly, fish can often
move out of the low oxygen areas
until it is safe to return; but if it
happens suddenly, and they are
trapped, many die.
All of these recently
reported issues point to the reason
that environmental and health
agencies need to continue to work
together. The National Fish

Habitat Conservation Act is a
comprehensive strategy to
allocate conservation dollars for
effective restoration of our
national waterways and is
working its way through
The act, if passed, will
improve how the U.S. Fish and
Wildlife Service approaches fish
habitat conservation. With 40
percent of the U.S. fish
populations in decline and half of
our waters impaired, this bill
encourages collaborative regional
conservation efforts that bring
together federal government
agencies, state and local
governments, conservation
groups, fishing industry groups,
and businesses. The bill is being
supported by the Nature
Conservancy, American
Sportfishing Association and
other partners. You can learn

more at FishHabitat.org.
Your FWC isn't waiting
for the National Fish Habitat
Conservation Act; we're already
working with other state, federal,
local and private partners to
ensure a safe and sustainable
future for Florida's freshwater
fisheries. In addition, the FWC
has an active Aquatic Habitat
Resource Enhancement section.
However, you and groups like the
Florida Freshwater Fishing
Coalition (FLFFC.org) and others
can play a vital role in ensuring
that the public understands the
importance of healthy aquatic
resources and the challenges
facing us. Some of those
challenges have been around
since before the Seminoles; others
are a product of our technology
and growth, but working together
they are all manageable.



Dewey Andrews a long-time Florida angler has enjoyed Florida's fisheries resources for decades.




* o


Additional information about fish consumption advisories and fact sheets can be found at
htt ://doh. state.fl .us/fl oridafishadvice/ I

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Lake Mary, FL 32795-0701

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Volunteer Buleti Boa

Notice to all Florida

The LAKEWATCH lab asks that all
volunteers who are taking water
samples every other month but
filling out a data sheet and taking
Secchi readings on a monthly
basis, please indicate on your
data sheets whether or not water
samples are being submitted with
the data sheet for that month.

2010 Regional Meeting
Osceola County 4/22/10
Lake County 4/24/10
Orange County 6/9/10
Bay, Gulf, Calhoun & Jackson Counties -
Seminole County 7/8/10
Putnam County 8/10/10
Walton, Okaloosa, Escambia, Santa Rosa,
Holmes & Washington Counties 8/28/10
Volusia County 9/8/10
Hillsborough, Pasco & Pinellas Counties -
Alachua, Hamilton, Clay & Bradford Counties -
Highlands County 11/7/10
Citrus & Marion Counties 12/1/10
Miami-Dade, Broward & Palm Beach Counties -



Florida LAKEWATCH has reorganized our regions once
again to accommodate reduced funding. David Watson
will now be the coordinator for north central /north
Florida and Dan Willis will now be the coordinator for
south central/south Florida.

., -

If you have any questions please call us at

To understand the blue crab life
cycle, we will follow a female
blue crab from birth to
reproduction. The blue crab starts
her life as a larva, an early-life
stage that looks completely
different than her adult form. She
will spend 31-49 days going
through seven larval stages called
zoea. In each stage she is similar
in appearance, but is slightly
larger than in the last stage. Even
this early in life, crabs have a hard
outer shell (exoskeleton). In order
to grow and change stages, the
larva must molt, which means
shed or cast off its shell. During
molting, the exoskeleton splits,
and the soft-bodied larva backs
out of the hard shell. The animal
remains soft for a short while, and
swells up by absorbing water.
Then, minerals from the seawater
(especially calcium) harden the
outer covering, forming a new
exoskeleton. When the larva loses
the extra water, it shrinks and
leaves space within the
exoskeleton for growth.

During this part of her life, the
crab floats in the open water
offshore where salinity is
relatively high. She probably

Zoeal stage

feeds on microscopic algae and
other small larvae (plural form of
larva). After the last zoeal stage,
the crab enters a megalops stage,
which lasts 6-20 days. This is the
first step toward obtaining the
typical crab form-the body
becomes wider with legs
protruding from the sides, but
with the abdomen still stretched
out behind.

Megalopal stage.

The megalopa takes advantage of
tidal currents to move into
estuaries where salinity is lower,
food is abundant, and shelter is
easy to find. There, she molts to a
true crab form, but is only 2 mm
wide (about twice the width of a
paper clip wire). As a juvenile, she
is omnivorous, meaning she will
eat both animal and vegetable
substances, such as fish, shellfish,
and aquatic plants. She also must
avoid predators such as spotted
sea trout, red drum, black drum,
sheepshead, and other crabs. She
continues to molt, growing larger
each time until she reaches adult
size (about 130-139 mm or 5.25-
5.5 in.) after 18-20 molts. The
amount of growth with each molt
varies depending on water

Juvenile blue crab

salinity, temperature, and other
environmental factors. She should
reach harvestable size (127 mm or
5 in.) within one year. During her
adult life, the female blue crab
remains in the estuary, although
usually in higher salinity water
than males. She eats fish,
crustaceans, worms, and
mollusks, and may be preyed
upon by large fish, birds, and
mammals (including humans).
Her molting rate increases during
warmer months, although water
temperatures greater than 30C
(860F) appear to inhibit molting.
During the cooler winter months
her activity slows, although in the
warmer Florida waters she will
not need to slow down as much as
blue crabs in more northern areas,
who bury in the mud to wait for

Molting blue crab crab

The Life Cycle of A Blue Crab in Florida
Follow a female blue crab throughout her life.

Sometime between March and
December, when temperatures
exceed 220C (720F), the female
crab moves into the upper waters
of the estuary where male crabs
are concentrated. Most female
blue crabs reach a terminal molt,
after which they no longer grow.
This molt coincides with the onset
of sexual maturity when mating
occurs. Evidence suggests that
some females molt a second time
after becoming mature, allowing
them to produce more batches of
offspring. Because of the hard
exoskeleton, mating must occur
directly after a molt, while the
female is still soft. To ensure he
will be there when she is ready, a
male will usually cradle a pre-
molt female in his legs. He also
protects her during the vulnerable
period after she molts, until her
shell becomes hard again. After
mating, the female moves offshore
into higher salinity water while
the male remains in the estuary for
the rest of his life. Along the west
coast of Florida, female crabs also
migrate northward toward the
Apalachee Bay region.

The female can retain sperm for a
year or more before extruding
eggs. This allows crabs mating in
fall or winter to wait until warmer
weather to hatch their eggs. Eggs

Mating blue crabs

are fertilized as they pass out of
the crab's body and are deposited
under the apron. The apron is
actually the curledunder abdomen,
and has small appendages to
which the eggs attach. Egg masses
have an average of two million
eggs, and can have up to eight
million eggs. At first the egg mass
appears orange due to the high
amount of yolk in each egg, then
turns brown as yolk is consumed
and eyes develop. After one to
two weeks the eggs hatch into
zoea larvae. Thus the cycle of life
is complete. Only one out of every
one million (0.0001%) eggs
survives to become an adult.
Predators, adverse environmental
conditions, and disease all take
their toll on the millions of
larvae that hatch from one female.
Yet some do survive, enough to
renew the population and start a
new generation of blue crabs.

Ovigerous (egg-bearing female

Hines, A., P. R. Jivoff, P. J.
Bushmann, J. Montfrans, S. A. Reed,
D. J. Wolcott, and T. G. Wolcot.
2003. Evidence for sperm limitation
in the blue crab Cii...... l, sapidus.
Bulletin of Marine Science, 72 (2):

Lipcius, R.N. and W. T. Stockhausen.
2002. Concurrent decline in the
spawning stock, recruitment, and
larval abundance, and size of the blue
crab Cii, i...... sapidus in
Chesapeake Bay. Marine Ecology
Progress Series 226:45-61.

Puckett B. J. and D. H. Secor. 2006.
Growth and Recruitment of Juvenile
Chesapeake Bay Blue Crab.
Technical Report Series No. TS-497-
05-CBL Ref. No. CBL 05-095 of the
University of Maryland Center for
Environmental Science.

Steele, P. 1982. A synopsis of the
biology of the blue crab C.,ii ...... 1,,
sapidus Rathbun in Florida. Pp. 29-
35. In: H.M. Perry and W.A. Van
Engle, eds. Proc. Blue Crab Colloq.,
Gulf States Marine Fisheries
Commission Publication No. 7.
Ocean Springs, Mississippi.

Steele, P. 1991. Population dynamics
and migration of the blue crab,
Cii ...... sapidus (Rathbun), in the
Eastern Gulf of Mexico. Proceedures
of the Gulf and Caribbean Fisheries
Institute 40:241-244.

Steele, P. and T.M. Bert. 1994.
Population ecology of the blue crab,
C, ii .... ,. sapidus Rathbun, in a
subtropical estuary: population
structure, aspects of reproduction, and
habitat partitioning. Florida Marine
Research Publications 54:1-24.

Turner, H. V., D. L. Wolcott, T. G.
Wolcott and A. H. Hines. 2003. Post-
mating behavior, intra-molt growth
and onset of migration to Chesapeake
Bay spawning grounds by adult
female blue crabs, Callinectes
sapidus Rathbun. Journal of
Experimental Marine Biology and
Ecology 295: 107-130.


Visit http://research.myfwc.com/publications/
to find copies of these papers and other valuable information.

All text and images are credited to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission


Outstanding LAKEWATCH Volunteer

Nancy Dunn has been an
active volunteer for the Florida
LAKEWATCH program on Bear
Lake in Seminole County since
1991. Bear Lake is located in the
Apopka Upland Region at 280 39'
0.78" and 810 26' 59.1". This
region is described as a region of
residual sand hills modified by
karst processes and contains many
small lakes. The current land
cover consists of citrus, pasture,
and urban and residential
development. The
physical and chemical
characteristics of the
lakes are varied, and lake
water level can be highly
fluctuating through
drought periods. There
are some acidic, clear,
softwater lakes of low
mineral content; some
clear lakes with moderate
nutrients (some may lack
macrophytes); and some
darker water lakes.
Nancy grew up in
Central Florida loving Nancy's
lakes and waterways. Her make ob
grandfather was a fishing drops ov
guide on Lake Apopka in
the 1930's and 40's.
Nancy grew up enjoying
swimming in Lake Silver
in Orange County and her family
loved going fishing on the
weekends. They would catch fish
and blue crabs in the Wekiva
River and on the St. John's River
and have cookouts often on the
shore. The waters were clear and
you could always see the sand
bottom. The birds, snakes and
gators made their trips exciting as

kids. She continues to fish now
with her best fishing partner, her
mom, Katy.
Nancy & her husband, Jim,
moved to Bear Lake in Seminole
County in1974 and became
involved in the Bear Lake
Community Club. The residents
wanted to protect Bear Lake, as it
was one of the clearest lakes in the
state. Swimming, sailing and
fishing is how they spent their
time on the lake. Jim now restores
and collects antique boats as a

e- ~- ag i== ......
^==~^--- --T^- -r-- -.- ^-"BIII
mom Katy often joins Nancy to collect water samples &
servations, and also drops a fishing line over while Nancy
er the Secchi disc!
hobby. Nancy uses her pontoon
boat for LAKEWATCH, fishing
and sightseeing on the Lake.
Nancy and other
concerned residents such as Bob
Hiedeman created the Bear Lake
Preservation Association (BLPA)
in 1991. They created the BLPA
to manage the lakes and the
activities in the watershed around
Bear Lake. Nancy is involved in
the BLPA newsletters and
educating residents on best
management practices. The focus

of BLPA since the beginning was
to educate residents in the
watershed on the pros and cons
of fertilizing lawns and how to
create berms & swales in their
yards to hold pollutants and
nutrients so the materials would
not flush into the lake.
"I remember our
LAKEWATCH training as if it
were yesterday," Nancy recalls
about her LAKEWATCH
training session with fellow
neighbors Vicki Renner, Jan
Brown, Jan Shepherd and
S Bonnie Quigley. Being
involved in making a
difference and learning
more about lakes was
exciting then to Nancy and
she just can't stop now!
- She has collected 214
water samples since
November of 1991 on
SBear Lake and has
attended every Seminole
meeting during this
period. She feels that she
can never learn enough
about Florida waterways
and considers herself a
preacher of LAKEWATCH.
She enjoys talking with
children, residents and friends
about the LAKEWATCH
program and what it is doing
for everyone in the state.
Nancy believes "Bear Lake is
just a part of the big picture of
all ecosystems in Florida."
Recently retired, after 30
years of service with Orange
County as an Engineering
Technician, she is happy to



Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences
School of Forestry Resource Conservation
7922 NW 71st Street
Gainesville, FL 32653

have more time to spend on the
Nancy maintains the
history that the Florida
LAKEWATCH program has
encouraged her to collect about
Bear Lake and has it stored in
two 4" binders. Her
observation reports include
pictures and documents of all
activities in the watershed
affecting Bear Lake along with
daily rainfall, lake levels,
seasonal bird counts and more.
According to Nancy "It is
amazing to review the
problems we have had and
changes that have occurred to
the lake in just the past 15
years and to be able to utilize
all the data collected over 18

Nancy is a dedicated volunteer
to the LAKEWATCH program
and it is has been a pleasure
having Nancy as a member of
the program. We do not come
across volunteers like Nancy
very often. The dedication to
Lake Bear goes beyond
anything we could have hoped
for from a volunteer when the
program was created. We
commend her for the time and
energy and for her continued
efforts to LAKEWATCH and
the Lakes of Seminole County.
Nancy, from all of us at


Elorida N

This newsletter is generated by the Florida
LAKEWATCH program, within UF/IFAS 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
Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences
School of Forest Resources and Conservation
GanevilleFL 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


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