PAGE 1

! Dedicated to Sharing Information About Water Management and the Florida LAKEWATCH Program Volume 5 3 ( 2011 ) The Future of LAKEWATCH LAKEWATCHERS You are all now aware that many individuals, families, charities, businesses, l ocal governments, state governments, and national governments are experiencing financial distress. When such a situation occurs, budgets must be trimmed and priorities established. History has shown that water quality monitoring programs are typically not identified as a governmental priority and the programs are either eliminated or their funding is substantially reduced. Such discussions are now taking place in Florida. In some c ases, funding cuts have been or will be implemented shortly. Florida LAKEWATCH Highlands County LAKEWATCH volunteers recognized for 15+ years of volunteer service with their Outstanding Volunteer paddles. Dan Willis

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# During the last two years, Florida LAKEWATCH sustained a 48% reduction in funding causing changes in the water sampling protocol, the water types being sampled, and infrastru ctu re changes to help continue serving the volunteers. In 2011, LAKEWATCH is again experiencing funding reductions, but the Florida Legislature maintained the programs current base funding of $275,000. Why did the Florida Legislature not cut all funding to LAKEWATCH? The cut did not occur, in part, because of the great work LAKEWATCH volunteers have done since 1986. It was the tremendous bank of limnological information assembled on the lakes and coastal waters over the years that helped identify flaws in th e USEPAs numeric nutrient criteria. The State of Florida and USEPA are now working to establish water quality criteria that will not only protect the waters of Florida, but prevent the needless expenditure of hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars to fi x non problems. Volunteers, you have done your job and provided a great service to the State of Florida! Moving forward, it is now time to consider a new way of doing the water quality monitoring business for Florida LAKEWATCH and your help is once again needed First volunteers who live on freshwater lakes, springs and rivers are requested to resume their regular monthly sampling. We had to go to sampling every other month last year due to budget shortfalls, but LAKEWATCHs water quality laboratory is now in a position to handle more freshwater samples. Volunteers along the coast are not being asked to resume monthly sampling yet, because of the extra time and personnel required to analyze marine waters. Presently, the LAKEWATCH staff and select volunte ers are initiating a joint water quality sampling project with Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) to test LAKEWATCHs contention that information collected by volunteers is as good as that collected by professionals. Florida LAKEWATCH ha s already tested this using LAKEWATCH staff and found that volunteer data are indeed comparable to that collected by professionals. However, FDEP requires additional confirmation using their staff. When the compatibility of volunteer data and the FDEP prof essional data are confirmed, FDEP staff will feel better about supporting LAKEWATCH funding requests. A LAKEWATCH volunteer in Broward County measures Secchi disk visibility. Moving forward, it is now time to consider a new way of doing the water quality monitoring business for Florida LAKEWATCH and your help is once again needed Dan Willis Dan Willis

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$ Second LAKEWATCH is initiating a program to provide in service water quality training to staff of the UF/IFAS Cooperative Extension Service. Many of our volunteers have successfully worked with Extension agents and found they received important information on many subjects. Extension has a long history of helping the agricultural community solve problems and is now moving to work with LAKEWATCH volunteers to help solve water problems, and help them continue water quality monitoring that is essential if workable and cost effective solutions are to be developed. Every Florida County has a Cooperative Extension office that works directly with local government on a variety of issues. Some receive matching funding from the counties. Please pay attention to the upcom ing actions of your county commissions. If decisions are to be made eliminating and/or reducing water quality monitoring, advance the idea that for much less money the monitoring could be accomplished by the Cooperative Extension Service and Florida LAKE WATCH volunteers. This will save the County money while still providing the information needed to meet water quality standards and that can be used correcting fixable problems. Also, do not focus just on your county. Ask your commissioners to request the assistance of the water management districts. By pooling resources of the existing local and state agencies, water quality monitoring programs do not need to be eliminated. Our waters can be monitored, wisely managed AND more can be done for less taxpayer dollars! Tough economic times often bring doom and gloom, but there are also golden opportunities. Volunteers, you of all people, understand the value of water quality monitoring for your waters and the value of the LAKEWATCH program. Lets provide the St ate of Florida another great service by establishing a new business plan for water quality monitoring by expanding the volunteer network for our freshwater and coastal water resources, pooling financial resources so more can be done for less, and leveragin g the available dollars with the Cooperative Extension Service to support teaching, research, and education. Florida LAKEWATCH Assistant Director Mark Hoyer (seated in the front of the room) leads an in service training of UF/IFAS Extension Agents in the Florida Panhandle. Dan Willis

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% Choctawhatchee Basin Alliance Choctawhatchee Basin Alliance of Northwest Florida State College History In early 1996, concerned citizens, elected offi cials, representatives from Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP), Eglin Air Force Base, other state, federal and local government agencies, environmental organizations, and members of the business community gathered at Northwest Florida State College (formally Okaloosa Walton Community College) in the panhandle of Florida to discuss environme ntal quality and economic development around the Choctawhatchee Bay During the local panel discussions, individuals expressed concern over the perceived decline of water quality of Choctawhatchee Bay while addressing the need to promote sustainable develo pment. The sharing of concerns from participants along with discussion on philosophies of ecosystem management sparked to life the partnership for sustainable development, called what is now know as the Choctawhatchee Basin Alliance On June 25, 1996, the organizatio n agreed to be affiliated under Northwest Florida State College. Mission The Choctawhatchee Basin Alliance of Northwest Florida State College (CBA) is an organization committed to sustaining and providing optimum utilization of the Choctawhatchee Basin watershed. CBA provides opportunities for citizens, educators, and technical experts to promote the health of the watershed. Vision CBA recognizes that the economy of our region is strongly dependent on the utilization of Choctawhatchee Bay as well as many other important activities in the basin CBA is primarily a conservation organization, but recognizes the importance of development fo r the economic viability of the area. Consequently, CBA is dedicated to promoting "optimum utilization" of water resources and to preserving the environmental quality, the quality of public life, and ultimately sustain ing the future utilization of those re sources. Public support is the corners tone of CBA, and will enable CBA to be a permanent organization bridging communication and promoting change in public policies. CBA desires to utilize public support and citizen involvement to initiate technical proj ects and coordinate efforts between citizens, business owners, environmental organizations, and government agencies to solve specific problems Community support will also aid CBA in acquiring funding that will make a positive change in our environment for the long term. Public awareness, public involvement, and collaboration are three ke y methodologies employed by CBA. CBA continues to be a collaboration of citizen, government, and scientific interests. This Alliance allows cooperation among technical an d governmental agencies to promote public values, solve specific problems and coordinate technical projects for the health of watershed resources. Programs To fulfill its mission and vision, CBA coordinates four program areas throughout the Choctawhatche e watershed: Restoration, Monitoring, Research, and Education. Restoration Program CBA has coordinated multiple stormwater enhancements projects, Choctawhatchee Basin Alliance P ictured above is one of a dozen research projects that CBA has assisted with. Florida State University researchers, under the guidance of Dr. Joseph Donoghue, modify CBA boats to facilitate needed research equipment to sample the sediment on the Coastal Dune Lakes in Walton County.

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& Choctawhatchee Basin Alliance Choctawhatchee Basin Alliance CBA water quality monitoring program is conducted almost wholly by a large group of dedicated volunteers. Mr. Chuck Faulkner, pictured above, often helps sample stations located in Santa Rosa Sound and Fort Walton Beach in Okaloosa County. The inset is of Andrew Fliehman a CBA/AmeriCorps volunteer, collecting water from Choctawhatchee Bay. created hundreds of feet of Living Shoreline, and removed acres of exotic/invasive plants throughout Santa Rosa Beach, Destin, Niceville, and Fort Walton Beach all cities located on Choctawhatchee Bay. Besides the ecological benefits of these restoration proj ects, CBA restoration projects also provide significant economic benefit to the local economy as these projects have provided over a million dollars to local contractors, engineers, and construction companies. Monitoring Program CBA coordinates mo nthly water quality monitoring at over 100 sampling stations located within the Choctawhatchee Bay the coastal dune lakes the Choctawhatchee River and offshore in the Gulf of Mexico CBAs monthly water quality monitoring program is conducted almost wholly by a large group of dedicated volunteers. They collect real time data using CBA provided hydrolabs and they collect water samples that are analyzed by the Florida LAKEWATCH program for eutrophicat ion parameters. Volunteers and students from local universities and colleges work with CBA staff to also conduct annual sea grass surveys and periodic evaluation of created oyster reefs. Research Program CBA works with various universities and water resource managers to aid and assist with research project that further the understanding of aquatic resources in the Choctawhatchee watershed. CBA has assisted with almost a dozen research projects ranging from Gulf Sturgeon monitoring and habitat utilizat ion (Delaware State University) to a hydrology study on the Coastal Dune Lakes (University of Florida). Education Program CBA currently works within local schools assisting teachers with environmental education curriculum and coordinating field trips. CBA s school curriculum involves the following topics: Grasses In Classes, Dune In Schools, Water Conservation, Water Supply, Water Quality, Composting, Exotic / Invasive Plants, and Rain Gardens. CBA also hosts community based educational workshops, attends various community events, and works with local municipalities to encourages scientifically based management decisions, promote stewardship, and helps to ensure overall economic viability for the Choctawhatchee watershed. For more information about CBA or its programs please visit www. basinalliance .org or c ontact CBA by email CBA@nwfsc.edu Our water quality monitoring program is conducted almost wholly by a large group of dedicated volunteers. CBAs Education Program often brings hands on environmental science curriculum to local Okaloosa and Walton County schools. Pictured above is Alison McDowell, one of CBAs Coordinators, with touch tanks Students get an opportunity to see, touch and learn about local organisms living in the bay.

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' Joe Richard Every summer, questions surface about an aquatic amoeba ( Naegleria fowleri ) with a bad reputation. Over the past 30 years, there have been over 34 deaths recorded in the United States due to exposure to this nasty little organism. More than f ifteen of the deaths occurred in Florida. Fortunately, the chances of coming in contact with Naegleria or contracting the resulting illness (Primary Amoebic Meningoencephalitis PAM, for short) are quite slim. In Florida, health officials estimate that there is only one case for every 2.5 million hours that people spend in freshwater. Drown ing and boating accidents pose a much greater threat to our states w ater enthusiasts. With that said, there are a few precautions swimmers can take to decrease their chances of exposure even more. The first thing you should know is that, with the exception of Antarctica, this amoeba is believed to exist in virtually every lake and river around the world. It is also found in spas, hot tubs, thermally enriched waters and poorly chlorinated swimming po ols. So, if youre thinking of simply avoiding these aquatic environments, you might get a little lonely. So, How Does One Avoid the Amoeba? The best way to prevent exposure to Naegleria is to avoid stirring up bottom sediments, as this is where the amo eba lives and feeds on bottom sediments composed of fallen leaves and dead plants. Once sediments are mixed into the water column, the amoeba could be forced up the nose of a swimmer who jumps or falls into the water. This increases the chance for it to en ter into an ear or nasal passage where it can follow the olfactory nerve and gain entry into the brain, where it has been known to cause problems. It is important to note that swimmers who have contracted PAM usually got it after rooting around the lake bo ttom, in heavy silt where the amoeba lives. Therefore, keeping ones face away from the bottom of a lake, river, canal, etc. and keeping swimmers from jumping off a dock into shallow water or any other scenario that would result in the disruption of bottom sediments will significantly reduce the risk of exposure to Naegleria Young children are at the highest risk of exposure as they tend to engage in such activities. Everyone can be further protected by wearing ear plugs and a nose clip (or a dive mask that covers the nose) when swimming. Remember, exposure to bottom sediments is the single MOST important factor that increases chances for infection. During most of the year, concentrations of Naegleria are rarely high enou gh to cause public health problems. However, as water temperatures rise during the summer (82 86 degrees Farenheit), it provides a more accommodating environment for the amoeba to feed and multiply. So, if possible, avoid swimming in warm shallow waters du ring this time. Diagnosis Early diagnosis is the best bet for survival. In the two known cases where patients survived infection from Naegleria, the family doctor recognized the symptoms immediately and was quick to react with appropriate antibiotics. Persons who complain of severe headaches, rigidity of the neck, impaired sense of smell and taste, nausea, vomiting and/or a high fever, and who have been swimming in a lake should be taken to a doctor. If the treatment is going to be effective, it needs to be administered quickly. Note: You cannot get PAM by eating fish from a lake. Amoebas in Lakes

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( New Collection Centers Columbia County Columbia County IFAS Extension 164 SW Mary Ethel Lane Lake City, FL 32025 Contact: Derek Barber 386 752 5384 Duval County Duval County IFAS Extension 1010 McDuff Ave. Jacksonville, FL 32254 Contact: Brad Burbaugh 904 387 8550 Washington County (New Contact Information) Washington County IFAS Extension 1424 Jackson Ave (Hwy 90) Suite A Chipley, FL 32428 1615 Contact: Mathew Orwat 850 638 6265 Volunteer Bulletin Board Monthly Sampling Is Back! LAKEWATCHers we are requesting that all samplers who sample fresh water lakes, springs, rivers, etc. begin to sample your water body on a monthly basis again. Because LAKEWATCHs water lab in now in position to handle more freshwater samples we are able to process fr eshwater samples on a monthly basis once again. Sorry all of you salt water LAKEWATCHers, due to the extra time and personnel involved with salt water analysis, we are not able to resume monthly sampling for you at this time so you should continue to samp le every other month. Keep those samples flowing! Do you have several months worth of samples taking up valuable freezer space at your house? Now that we are resuming monthly sampling for all of our freshwater sites, why not take the opportunity to delive r all frozen water and chlorophyll samples to your collection center as soon as possible. This will help keep our data as up to date as possible. Wed also like to take this opportunity to thank you for your hard work and dedication! Sincerely, The Florida LAKEWATCH Crew.

PAGE 8

) Phyllanthus uitans is a freshwater species native to South America and is the sole free-oating aquatic species of the large genus Phyllanthus. Common names of P. uitans include red root oater and oating spurge. In 2010, red root oater was found growing in a canal and tributaries in, and near, the Peace River, Desoto County, Florida. Because red root oater is a popular aquarium plant, it may have been introduced via the aquarium-plant trade. Red root oater can produce a closed canopy over water; and in backwater areas, small isolated populations can be difcult to nd. Scientists fear if this species expands its range, it may become as problematical in Florida as have the South American water lettuce and water hyacinth, also canopyproducers.Weed alertRed Root oater(Phyllanthus uitans) Division of Habitat and Species Conservation Invasive Plant Management Section 620 South Meridian St. Tallahassee, FL 32399-1600 850-487-3796Guide to identication: Foliage leaves These are distichously arranged, range from 9 to 17 mm long and are separated by internodes 5 to 20 mm long. Each leaf exhibits a lamina, a petiole less than 1 mm long, and two browntransparent stipules. The lamina (the distal expanded portion of the leaf) is more or less orbicular (circular), entire and unlobed marginally, cordate basally, and with a shallow notch distally. It exhibits two deep pockets one on each side of the midrib. The leaves exhibit a light bluegreen color.Shoots and stems Shoots of P. uitans either oat on the water surface or, where plants bunch together, they may also extend a short distance into the air. The stems are brittle, are approximately 1 to 1.5 mm in diameter, and range up to 130 mm long. Cymules and owers Most cymules are three-owered, but two or four owers may occur. Each cymule exhibits at least one staminate ower and one pistillate ower. Flowers are short-pedicellate, radially symmetrical, and normally exhibit three sepals and three petals. Because sepals and petals are comparable in color, size and shape, they are called tepals. The tepals are white or greenish-white and are not fused together. The owers vary from 2 to 3.5 mm in diameter. Fruits The fruit, a capsule, is subtended by persistent tepals. It is depressed-globose and 3 mm wide. The capsule is trilocular and sixseeded, with two seeds lling each locule. The seeds, which outwardly resemble orange segments, exhibit numerous minute, dark-brown, supercial processes over a light brown background. Red root !oater mat Close up of red root !oater Red root !oater growth form shoots and !owers New Invasive Plant S pecies I nvades Florida By Florida Wildlife Conservation Commission

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* Summer is here once again in all its hot humid, buggy glory and chances are dedicated lake goers are smack dab in the middle of it as they enjoy any number of aquatic activities. However, there is one summer occurrence that folks should be aware of as it can certainly take the fun out of playing in your favorite lake. Its known as swimmers itch and similar to poison ivy, anyone who has ever had an outbreak usually doesnt forget it. Swimmers itch is the result of a parasitic flatworm that makes its presence known to lake goers on rare occasion s. It is most often experienced in the warmer summer months when greater numbers of people are out swim ming in and enjoying their lake. Initial symptoms are usually experienced soon after swimming or submersing oneself in a lake and they include a tingli ng sensation soon after drying off the exposed parts of the body. Later, the development of small red spots occurs, then the tingling ceases and the red spots become itchier. The degree of dis comfort varies among individuals, depending on the severity of infestation and prior expo sure. The more often one is exposed to swimmers itch, the more sensitive they could be to future outbreaks. So where does this aquatic pest come from? This tiny parasitic flatworm that is capable of causing so much discomfort among humans originates in the bloodstream of some aquatic bird species. Adult worms live in the birds digestive tract and their eggs are transferred to the lake via the excrement of the bird. Once in the water the eggs hatch and the larvae search for a certain species of snail, which they will invade and use as the secondary host. Larvae live in the snail and eventually emerge as a secondary microscopic larval stage that is known as cercaria A t this point, the cercaria normally will seek out aquatic birds such as ducks to complete the life cycle but sometimes mistakenly invade human skin instead. Since humans are not the correct host species, the cercaria soon dies and leaves the swimmer with a n itchy but harmless welt. If welts develop, try over the counter anti itch medications such as lotions and antihistamines. Your pharmacist can recommend something suitable for you. One way o f reducing your chances of contracting swimmers itch and still enjoy your lake is to avoid swimming for long periods Joe Richard !"#$"%&'()*&#+,**&-#./0/1)-2 +%/**&-30#/1(4#5+(4/01)0)*&#(&-(6-/6'#7&-*61/1/08 in the shallow water. It is believed that cercatias are more concentrated there. Also, if an area has a history of producing swimmers itch, avoid swimming there. Drying off immediately after getting out of the water may help as some species of cercaria only enetr the skin as the water dries on the body. A few more words of wisdom: Dont feed aquatic bird species, as this can encourage them to defecate in areas where people swim and it also makes the birds dependent on humans for food. This article is a reprint from an earlier LAKEWATCH newsletter article written by Amy Richard an d Debi Mosely

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!+" Volunteer Feedback The following was an e mail in response to our quarterly check in with our primary volunteers that we thought we would share with all of our LAKEWATCHers. Hi David I am still doing fine, thank you. Last weekend I measured the flow from Bugg Spring for the umpteenth time. Next weekend I hope to take the 255 th LAKEWATCH sample and attend the picnic at Hickory Point. Although retirement is inevitable the thought is repugnant to me. Being a LAKEWATCH volunteer is, and has been a wonderful experi ence and has helped keep me both physically and mentally active. It has been twenty two years of pleasure and satisfaction. It was a pivotal day in my life when Dan Canfield accepted me as a volunteer and recognized the importance of Bugg Spring. It was a year after I retired as a teacher at Leesburg High School. Dan saw the importance of the Spring as an eye to the aquifer. Sandy Fisher showed me how to collect the samples in January 1990, and Dan encouraged me to determine the flow of the Spring when I took samples later on. I figured out a way to do that and went to the SJRWMD for their approval of my method. They advised me how to calculate the Springs discharge, Q, but also objected to my making the measurements. The SJRWMD also was opposing LAKEWAT CH for its collection of data at that time. They have since changed their mind. I have made my data available to SJRWMD, USGS, and other agencies over the decades and am pleased to say that SJRWMD has come to appreciate my flow data and granted me the Bob Owen Award last year for supplying it to them. The LAKEWATCH data has shown a steady decline in the amount of nitrogen in the water. The data also documents a 10% increase in flow since 1990. Surprisingly the flow increased at low water from the droughts of 2000 and 2006! It seems that Bugg Spring has improved over the last two decades. Linda Bystrak from LCWA thought that Bugg Spring might be unique in that, so I contacted SJRWMD and they finally sent me their water quality data from Bugg Spring Run. I t confirmed the trend that we discovered through LAKEWATCH. They have recently installed a recording rain gauge and a pressure sensitive gage that reports the stage of the spring to Palatka continuously. That has awakened a new curiosity and revitalized th is old man. I plan to enjoy LAKEWATCH as long as I can but switching over to just watching the lake and the sunset is inevitable. It would be nice to have an apprentice to take over. The project has shown results and is very satisfying, but is just begi nning. We need to continue keeping an eye on the aquifer at Bugg Spring. Sincerely; Joe Branham Bugg Spring Okahumpka FL Have a story you would like to share with the LAKEWATCH family? Send it in to David Watson, 7922 NW 71st Street, Gainesville, FL 32653 3071 or dlwatson@ufl.edu and we will get it in a future volume.

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!!" A dog infected with Pythium insidioum showing lesion. Late in the summer of 2010 the LAKEWATCH volunteer on Deerback lake in Marion County reported to Florida L AKEWATCH that her dog had been infected with a disease that the dog got from her lake. The disease was called pythiosis (also called Phycomyosis or swamp fever.) Pythiosis is an uncommon but often fatal infectious disease that occurs in dogs, cats and hor ses. In dogs this disease affects the gastrointestinal tract or the skin. Dogs with open soars usually contract the disease when they drink, stand or swim in water inhabited by the aquatic mold Pythium insidiosum which is found throughout the southern Unit ed States, especially the Gulf Coast states. Large breed dogs, particularly hunting dogs working near water are at higher risk however any dogs exposed to warm freshwater lakes, swamps and ponds may be at risk. Worldwide the gastrointestinal form is the m ost common form however, in the Southeastern United States the cutaneous (skin) form is most common. Most infections occur in the summer months particularly after periods of heavy rainfall Symptoms Infected spores enter the system through open soars or wounds in the animal. Once in the animals system Pythium organisms grow causing sever tissue damage that may include wounds that wont heal and drain continuously. These lesions are most commonly found on the legs, head and base of the tail. These frequently may itch and are often confused with other (less lethal) skin infections. In the gastrointestinal form, thickening of digestive tract tissue may be sever e and cause complete obstruction. Some signs to watch for may include: chronic weight loss, intermittent vomiting, diarrhea with or without blood, lethargy, chronic open and bloody skin lesions that will not heal and skin masses. Diagnosis This disease ca n be difficult to diagnose. Baseline tests can include a complete blood count, a biochemical profile, and urinalysis. Swabs or biopsies of the infected tissue studied under a microscope can sometimes yield Pythiosis in Dogs (Phycomyosis or Swamp Fever) an organism identification. Culterd swabs may also lead to postive identification however most other diseases are ruled out before a postitve diagnosis for Pythiosis. Treatment The most common treatment is the surgical removal of the affected area, however this must occur early in its course for this or any treatment to be affective. Some antifungal agents may be used several months following successful surgery. Prognosis Unless the affected are a is successfully removed early in its course prognosis is very poor. Only one out of every five patients re cover if surgery is not successful. If the infected are a is successfully removed prognosis is fair. Wikimedia Commons

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!#" 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: Florida LAKEW ATCH Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences School of Forest Resources and Conservation 7922 NW 71st Street Gainesville, FL 32653 or call 1 800 LAKEWATCH (800 525 3928) (352) 392 4817 E mail: fl lakewatch@ufl.edu http://lakewatch.ifas.ufl.edu/ All unsolicited articles, photographs, artwork or other written material must include contributors name, address and phone number. Opinions expressed are solely those of the individual contributor and do not necessarily ref lect the opinion or policy of the Florida LAKEWATCH program. Florida LAKEWATCH Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences School of Forest Resource s and Conservation 7922 NW 71st Street Gainesville, FL 32653 Florida LAKEWATCH While this disease is quite series and often fatal it should be noted that it is rare and that many animals enjoy waterbodies in Florida without contracting the disease. For more i nformation on pythious visit these web sites: www.vet.uga.edu www.pavlab.com and http://bld.msu.edu/mendoza.html Pythium insidiosum hyphe drawn by Jan Witkamp, a Dutch investigator in 1924.


Florida Lakewatch newsletter
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Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00055470/00044
 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: 2011
Frequency: irregular
completely irregular
 Subjects
Subjects / Keywords: Lakes -- Periodicals -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Genre: government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
periodical   ( marcgt )
 Notes
General Note: Description based on v. 9 (spring 1997); title from caption.
General Note: Latest issue consulted: v. 33 (2006).
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Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
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lccn - 2006229159
Classification: lcc - GB1625.F6 F56
System ID: UF00055470:00044

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Florida


LAKEWATCH A


r~ "


Highlands County LAKEWATCH volunteers recognized for 15+ years of volunteer service with their "Outstanding Volunteer" paddles.


The Future of LAKEWATCH


LAKEWATCHERS -
You are all now aware that many
individuals, families, charities,
businesses, local governments, state
governments, and national
governments are experiencing
financial distress. When such a


situation occurs, budgets must be
trimmed and priorities established.
History has shown that water quality
monitoring programs are typically
not identified as a governmental
priority and the programs are either
eliminated or their funding is
substantially reduced.


Such discussions
place in Florida.
funding cuts have
implemented shortly3


are now taking
In some cases,
been or will be


UF UNIVERSITY of
UF FLORIDA
IFAS

































A LAKEWATCH volunteer in Broward County measures Secchi disk visibility.


During the last two years, Florida
LAKEWATCH sustained a 48%
reduction in funding causing changes
in the water sampling protocol, the
water types being sampled, and
infrastructure changes to help
continue serving the volunteers. In
2011, LAKEWATCH is again
experiencing funding reductions, but
the Florida Legislature maintained
the program's current base funding
of $275,000.

Why did the Florida Legislature not
cut all funding to LAKEWATCH?
The cut did not occur, in part,
because of the great work
LAKEWATCH volunteers have
done since 1986. It was the
tremendous bank of limnological
information assembled on the lakes
and coastal waters over the years that
helped identify flaws in the
USEPA's numeric nutrient criteria.
The State of Florida and USEPA are
now working to establish water
quality criteria that will not only
protect the waters of Florida, but
prevent the needless expenditure of
hundreds of millions of taxpayer


dollars to fix non-problems.
Volunteers, you have done your job
and provided a great service to the
State of Florida!

Moving forward, it is now time to
consider a new way of doing the
water quality monitoring business for
Florida LAKEWATCH and your
help is once again needed -

First, volunteers who live on


freshwater lakes, springs and
rivers are requested to resume
their regular monthly sampling.
We had to go to sampling every
other month last year due to
budget shortfalls, but
LAKEWATCH's water quality
laboratory is now in a position to
handle more freshwater samples.
Volunteers along the coast are not
being asked to resume monthly
sampling yet, because of the extra
time and personnel required to
analyze marine waters. Presently,
the LAKEWATCH staff and
select volunteers are initiating a
joint water quality sampling
project with Florida Department
of Environmental Protection
(FDEP) to test LAKEWATCH's
contention that information
collected by volunteers is as good
as that collected by professionals.
Florida LAKEWATCH has
already tested this using
LAKEWATCH staff and found
that volunteer data are indeed
comparable to that collected by
professionals. However, FDEP
requires additional confirmation
using their staff. When the
compatibility of volunteer data
and the FDEP professional data
are confirmed, FDEP staff will
feel better about supporting
LAKEWATCH funding requests.


Moving forward, it is now time to consider a new way of doing the water quality monitoring
business for Florida LAKEWATCH and your help is once again needed -







Second LAKEWATCH is
initiating a program to provide in-
service water quality training to
staff of the UF/IFAS Cooperative
Extension Service. Many of our
volunteers have successfully
worked with Extension agents
and found they received
important information on many
subjects. Extension has a long
history of helping the agricultural
community solve problems and is
now moving to work with
LAKEWATCH volunteers to
help solve water problems, and
help them continue water quality
monitoring that is essential if
workable and cost-effective
solutions are to be developed.

Every Florida County has a
Cooperative Extension office that
works directly with local
government on a variety of issues.
Some receive matching funding


from the counties. Please pay
attention to the upcoming actions
of your county commissions. If
decisions are to be made
eliminating and/or reducing water
quality monitoring, advance the
idea that for much less money the
monitoring could be
accomplished by the Cooperative
Extension Service and Florida
LAKEWATCH volunteers. This
will save the County money while
still providing the information
needed to meet water quality
standards and that can be used
correcting fixable problems.

Also, do not focus just on your
county. Ask your commissioners
to request the assistance of the
water management districts. By
pooling resources of the existing
local and state agencies, water
quality monitoring programs do
not need to be eliminated. Our


waters can be monitored, wisely
managed AND more can be done
for less taxpayer dollars!

Tough economic times often
bring doom and gloom, but there
are also golden opportunities.
Volunteers, you of all people,
understand the value of water
quality monitoring for your
waters and the value of the
LAKEWATCH program. Let's
provide the State of Florida
another great service by
establishing a new business plan
for water quality monitoring by
expanding the volunteer network
for our freshwater and coastal
water resources, pooling financial
resources so more can be done for
less, and leveraging the available
dollars with the Cooperative
Extension Service to support
teaching, research, and education.


Florida LAKEWATCH Assistant Director Mark Hoyer (seated in the front of the room) leads an in-service training of UF/IFAS Extension Agents in
the Florida Panhandle.








Choctawhatchee Basin Alliance

of Northwest Florida State College


History
In early 1996, concerned citizens,
elected officials, representatives from
Florida Department of
Environmental Protection (FDEP),
Eglin Air Force Base, other state,
federal and local government
agencies, environmental
organizations, and members of the
business community gathered at
Northwest Florida State College
(formally Okaloosa Walton
Community College) in the
panhandle of Florida to discuss
environmental quality and economic
development around the
Choctawhatchee Bay. During the
local panel discussions, individuals
expressed concern over the perceived
decline of water quality of
Choctawhatchee Bay while
addressing the need to promote
sustainable development. The
sharing of concerns from participants
along with discussion on
philosophies of ecosystem
management sparked to life the
partnership for sustainable
development, called what is now
know as the Choctawhatchee Basin
Alliance. On June 25, 1996, the
organization agreed to be affiliated
under Northwest Florida State
College.
Mission
The Choctawhatchee Basin Alliance
of Northwest Florida State College
(CBA) is an organization committed
to sustaining and providing optimum
utilization of the Choctawhatchee
Basin watershed. CBA provides
opportunities for citizens, educators,
and technical experts to promote the
health of the watershed.
Vision
CBA recognizes that the economy of
our region is strongly dependent on
the utilization of Choctawhatchee
Bay as well as many other important
4


U
C.









Pictured above is one of a dozen research projects that CBA has assisted with.
Florida State University researchers, under the guidance of Dr. Joseph Donoghue,
modify CBA boats to facilitate needed research equipment to sample the sediment
on the Coastal Dune Lakes in Walton County.


activities in the basin. CBA is
primarily a conservation
organization, but recognizes the
importance of development for the
economic viability of the area.
Consequently, CBA is dedicated to
promoting "optimum utilization" of
water resources and to preserving the
environmental quality, the quality of
public life, and ultimately sustaining
the future utilization of those
resources.

Public support is the cornerstone of
CBA, and will enable CBA to be a
permanent organization bridging
communication and promoting
change in public policies. CBA
desires to utilize public support and
citizen involvement to initiate
technical projects and coordinate
efforts between citizens, business
owners, environmental
organizations, and government
agencies to solve specific problems.
Community support will also aid
CBA in acquiring funding that will
make a positive change in our
environment for the long term.

Public awareness, public
involvement, and collaboration are


three key methodologies employed
by CBA. CBA continues to be a
collaboration of citizen, government,
and scientific interests. This Alliance
allows cooperation among technical
and governmental agencies to
promote public values, solve specific
problems and coordinate technical
projects for the health of watershed
resources.

Programs
To fulfill its mission and vision,
CBA coordinates four program areas
throughout the Choctawhatchee
watershed: Restoration, Monitoring,
Research, and Education.

Restoration Program
CBA has coordinated multiple
stormwater enhancements projects,







created hundreds of feet of "Living
Shoreline", and removed acres of
exotic/invasive plants throughout
Santa Rosa Beach, Destin, Niceville,
and Fort Walton Beach-all cities
located on Choctawhatchee Bay.

Besides the ecological benefits of
these restoration projects, CBA
restoration projects also provide
significant economic benefit to the
local economy-as these projects
have provided over a million dollars
to local contractors, engineers, and
construction companies.

Monitoring Program
CBA coordinates monthly water
quality monitoring at over 100
sampling stations located within the
Choctawhatchee Bay, the coastal
dune lakes, the Choctawhatchee
River and offshore in the Gulf of
Mexico.

CBA's monthly water quality
monitoring program is conducted
almost wholly by a large group of
dedicated volunteers. They collect
real-time data using CBA provided
hydrolabs and they collect water
samples that are analyzed by the
Florida LAKEWATCH program for
eutrophication parameters.

Volunteers and students from local
universities and colleges work with
CBA staff to also conduct annual sea
grass surveys and periodic evaluation
of created oyster reefs.

Research Program
CBA works with various
universities and water resource
managers to aid and assist with
research project that further the
understanding of aquatic resources
in the Choctawhatchee watershed.
CBA has assisted with almost a
dozen research projects ranging
from Gulf Sturgeon monitoring
and habitat utilization (Delaware
State University) to a hydrology
study on the Coastal Dune Lakes
(University of Florida).


-7 ----


--- -
<






U



CBA water quality monitoring program is conducted almost wholly by a large group
of dedicated volunteers. Mr. Chuck Faulkner, pictured above, often helps sample
stations located in Santa Rosa Sound and Fort Walton Beach in Okaloosa County.
The inset is of Andrew Fliehman, a CBA/AmeriCorps volunteer, collecting water from
Choctawhatchee Bay.


Education Program
CBA currently works within local
schools assisting teachers with
environmental education
curriculum and coordinating field
trips. CBA's school curriculum
involves the following topics:
Grasses-In-Classes, Dune-In-
Schools, Water Conservation,
Water Supply, Water Quality,
Composting, Exotic / Invasive
Plants, and Rain Gardens.

CBA also hosts community-based
educational workshops, attends
various community events, and
works with local municipalities to


encourages scientifically based
management decisions, promote
stewardship, and helps to ensure
overall economic viability for the
Choctawhatchee watershed.

For more information about CBA
or its programs, please visit
www.basinalliance.org or contact
CBA by email CBAanwfsc.edu.
CHOCTAWHATCH EE
BASIN ALLIANCE





NORTHWEST FLORIDA
I ilr-H co, l


OF=_ -
CBA's Education Program often brings "hands-on" environmental science
curriculum to local Okaloosa and Walton County schools. Pictured above is
Alison McDowell, one of CBA's Coordinators, with touch tanks. Students get an
opportunity to see, touch and learn about local organisms living in the bay.









Amoebas in Lakes


Every summer, questions
surface about an aquatic amoeba
(Naegleria fowleri) with a bad
reputation. Over the past 30
years, there have been over 34
deaths recorded in the United
States due to exposure to this
nasty little organism. More than
fifteen of the deaths occurred in
Florida.
Fortunately, the chances of
coming in contact with
Naegleria, or contracting the
resulting illness (Primary
Amoebic Meningoencephalitis-
PAM, for short) are quite slim.
In Florida, health officials
estimate that there is only one
case for every 2.5 million hours
that people spend in freshwater.
Drowning and boating accidents
pose a much greater threat to our
state's water enthusiasts. With
that said, there are a few
precautions swimmers can take to
decrease their chances of
exposure even more.
The first thing you should
know is that, with the exception
of Antarctica, this amoeba is
believed to exist in virtually every
lake and river around the world. It
is also found in spas, hot tubs,
thermally enriched waters and
poorly chlorinated swimming
pools. So, if you're thinking of
simply avoiding these aquatic
environments, you might get a
little lonely.
So, How Does One Avoid the
Amoeba?
The best way to prevent exposure
to Naegleria is to avoid stirring
up bottom sediments, as this is
where the amoeba lives and feeds
on bottom sediments composed of
fallen leaves and dead plants.
Once sediments are mixed into
the water column, the amoeba


could be forced up the nose of a
swimmer who jumps or falls into
the water. This increases the
chance for it to enter into an ear
or nasal passage where it can
follow the olfactory nerve and
gain entry into the brain, where it
has been known to cause
problems.
It is important to note that
swimmers who have contracted
PAM usually got it after rooting
around the lake bottom, in heavy
silt where the amoeba lives.
Therefore, keeping one's face
away from the bottom of a lake,
river, canal, etc. and keeping
swimmers from jumping off a
dock into shallow water-or any
other scenario that would result in
the disruption of bottom
sediments-will significantly
reduce the risk of exposure to
Naegleria. Young children are at
the highest risk of exposure as
they tend to engage in such
activities.
Everyone can be further
protected by wearing ear plugs
and a nose clip (or a dive mask
that covers the nose) when
swimming. Remember, exposure
to bottom sediments is the single
MOST important factor that
increases chances for infection.


During most of the year,
concentrations of Naegleria are
rarely high enough to cause
public health problems. However,
as water temperatures rise during
the summer (82-86 degrees
Farenheit), it provides a more
accommodating environment for
the amoeba to feed and multiply.
So, if possible, avoid swimming
in warm shallow waters during
this time.
Diagnosis
Early diagnosis is the best bet for
survival. In the two known cases
where patients survived infection
from Naegleria, the family doctor
recognized the symptoms
immediately and was quick to
react with appropriate antibiotics.
Persons who complain of severe
headaches, rigidity of the neck,
impaired sense of smell and taste,
nausea, vomiting and/or a high
fever, and who have been
swimming in a lake
should be taken to a doctor. If the
treatment is going to be effective,
it needs to be administered
quickly.

Note: You cannot get PAM by
eating fish from a lake.









New Collection Centers
Columbia County
Columbia County IFAS Extension
164 SW Mary Ethel Lane
Lake City, FL 32025
Contact: Derek Barber
386-752-5384
Duval County
Duval County IFAS Extension
1010 McDuff Ave.
Jacksonville, FL 32254
Contact: Brad Burbaugh
904-387-8550
Washington County (New Contact Information)
Washington County IFAS Extension
1424 Jackson Ave (Hwy 90) Suite A
Chipley, FL 32428-1615
Contact: Mathew Orwat
850-638-6265



Monthly Sampling Is Back!

LAKEWATCHer's, we are requesting that all samplers who sample fresh water
lakes, springs, rivers, etc. begin to sample your water body on a monthly basis
again. Because LAKEWATCH's water lab in now in position to handle more
freshwater samples we are able to process freshwater samples on a monthly basis
once again. Sorry all of you salt-water LAKEWATCHer's, due to the extra time
and personnel involved with salt-water analysis, we are not able to resume
monthly sampling for you at this time so you should continue to sample every
other month.

Keep those samples flowing!
Do you have several months worth of samples taking up valuable freezer space at your house? Now that we are
resuming monthly sampling for all of our freshwater sites, why not take the opportunity to deliver all frozen water and
chlorophyll samples to your collection center as soon as possible. This will help keep our data as up to date as
possible.
We'd also like to take this opportunity to thank you for your hard work and dedication!

Sincerely,

The Florida LAKEWATCH Crew.










New Invasive Plant Species Invades Florida
By Florida Wildlife Conservation Commission





Weed alert


Red Root floater
(Phyllanthus fluitans)

Phyllanthus fluitans is a freshwater species native to South America and is the sole free-floating aquatic species of
the large genus Phyllanthus. Common names of P. fluitans include red root floater and floating spurge. In 2010, red
root floater was found growing in a canal and tributaries in, and near, the Peace River, Desoto County, Florida.

Because red root floater is a popular aquarium plant, it may have been introduced via the aquarium-plant
trade. Red root floater can produce a closed canopy over water; and in backwater areas, small isolated
populations can be difficult to find. Scientists fear if this species expands its range, it may become as
problematical in Florida as have the South American water lettuce and water hyacinth, also canopy-
producers.
Guide to identification:
Foliage leaves These are distichously arranged, range from 9 to
17 mm long and are separated by internodes 5 to 20 mm long. Each
.. leaf exhibits a lamina, a petiole less than 1 mm long, and two brown-
transparent stipules. The lamina (the distal expanded portion of the
S_-. -. -.- leaf) is more or less orbicular (circular), entire and unlobed marginally,
S- "- cordate basally, and with a shallow notch distally. It exhibits two deep
.- pockets one on each side of the midrib. The leaves exhibit a light blue-
green color.
Red root floater mat
SShoots and stems Shoots of RP fluitans either float on the water
surface or, where plants bunch together, they may also extend a short
distance into the air. The stems are brittle, are approximately 1 to 1.5
4 mm in diameter, and range up to 130 mm long.

S' Cymules and flowers Most cymules are three-flowered, but two or
Four flowers may occur. Each cymule exhibits at least one staminate
flower and one pistillate flower. Flowers are short-pedicellate,
radially symmetrical, and normally exhibit three sepals and three
Close up of red root floater petals. Because sepals and petals are comparable in color, size and
shape, they are called tepals. The tepals are white or greenish-white
Sand are not fused together. The flowers vary from 2 to 3.5 mm in
diameter.

Fruits The fruit, a capsule, is subtended by persistent tepals. It is
.. depressed-globose and 3 mm wide. The capsule is trilocular and six-
"', seeded, with two seeds filling each locule. The seeds, which outwardly
t .resemble orange segments, exhibit numerous minute, dark-brown,
superficial processes over a light brown background.
Red root floater growth form shoots and
flowers

Florida Fish and Wildlife
Conservation Commission
MyFWC.com
Division of Habitat and Species Conservation
Invasive Plant Management Section
620 South Meridian St.
Tallahassee, FL 32399-1600
850-487-3796







An Unwelcome Summer Visitor:

Swimmer's itch (Schistosome cercarial dermatitis)


Summer is here once again in
all its hot humid, buggy glory
and chances are dedicated lake
goers are smack dab in the middle
of it as they enjoy any number of
aquatic activities.
However, there is one
summer occurrence that folks
should be aware of as it can
certainly take the fun out of
playing in your favorite lake.
It's known as swimmer's itch
and similar to poison ivy, anyone
who has ever had an outbreak
usually doesn't forget it.
Swimmer's itch is the result
of a parasitic flatworm that makes
its presence known to lake-goers
on rare occasions. It is most often
experienced in the warmer
summer months when greater
numbers of people are out swim-
ming in and enjoying their lake.
Initial symptoms are usually
experienced soon after swimming
or submersing oneself in a lake
and they include a tingling
sensation soon after drying off the
exposed parts of the body. Later,
the development of small red
spots occurs, then the tingling
ceases and the red spots become
itchier. The degree of discomfort
varies among individuals,
depending on the severity of
infestation and prior exposure.
The more often one is exposed to
swimmer's itch, the more
sensitive they could be to future
outbreaks.
So where does this aquatic pest
come from?
This tiny parasitic flatworm
that is capable of causing so much
discomfort among humans
originates in the bloodstream of
some aquatic bird species. Adult
worms live in the bird's digestive


tract and their eggs are transferred
to the lake via the excrement of
the bird.
Once in the water the eggs
hatch and the larvae search for a
certain species of snail, which
they will invade and use as the
secondary host. Larvae live in the
snail and eventually emerge as a
secondary microscopic larval
stage that is known as cercaria.
At this point, the cercaria
normally will seek out aquatic
birds such as ducks to complete
the life cycle but sometimes
mistakenly invade human skin
instead. Since humans are not the
correct host species, the cercaria
soon dies and leaves the swimmer
with an itchy but harmless welt.
If welts develop, try over-the-
counter anti itch medications such
as lotions and antihistamines.
Your pharmacist can recommend
something suitable for you.
One way of reducing your
chances of contracting swimmer's
itch and still enjoy your lake is to
avoid swimming for long periods


in the shallow water. It is
believed that cercatias are
more concentrated there.
Also, if an area has a
history of producing
swimmer's itch, avoid
swimming there.
Drying off immediately
after getting out of the water
may help as some species of
cercaria only enetr the skin
as the water dries on the
body.
A few more words of
wisdom:
Don't feed aquatic bird
species, as this can
encourage them to defecate
in areas where people swim
and it also makes the birds
dependent on humans for
food.

This article is a reprint from
an earlier LAKEWATCH
newsletter article written by
Amy Richard and Debi
Mosely.









Volunteer Feedback

Thefollowing was an e-mail in response to our "quarterly check-in" with our primary volunteers that we thought
we would share with all of our LAKEWA TCHers.

I; 2av;id
I am st;// do;ng 7ne, t~an, you. Last weekend Z nmeaSuL-ed t~e f7ow f-romn BU'qa Spr;in for the
unpt'eent'h t'me. V/e>t weekend Z h1ope t'o f'ae t'e 23, L/fKEl/)/tfC/ samnp/e and extend t'he peni< a'
L/ oy Point. 4A/t'hough etiement is inevi'ta/e t'he thought is repunan't o me. Being a LAKEf) TC/a
Vo/unteet is, and has Zeen a wondetIlu/ ehpei'ene and s /d as e/e eep ne oti pfhysica//y and menea//y
active. Z- has Zeen twenty-two years ofop/easui-e and satisfaction.
.Z woas a p;vota/ day in mny ///e w hen 7aan Cane/d acceped ,ne aS a vo/,ntiee- and -ecognized the
impoat#anc&e of BUa3 Sp, I'3 wLas a year af-ite IZ etied aS a teache- at Lees/uaf3 choo/. ~2)an sazw
the inipor~tane of t~e Spri'n aas "an eye to tie al fe. Sandy isher Shoed ,ne how to co//ee the
sano/Pes in January 9qq, and 2an encou -aged ,me to deIn te&nI-e ntie f/ow o &f thie Sp-i;n wen I too
samnp/es /aie- on. Z /'ua-ed oa' a way to do t~at an.d iwent o t~e fT 'AMA1&) /fo- t~eih app,-ova/ of my
Method. Th&ey advised Ine how to & a/cia/a'e tie Sp-ng, 's dischar-e, 4, za/ a/so ofzjeeed to my Maing tihe
1measuI-emnents. Tfhe SijM2) a/so was opposing L/AKETf7C/ fot i5ts co//e"ection oCf data at tMat //ae.
7hey have since changed tihei i;nd.
Z have made mny data aval/az/e to jUf'WIMDI, Z166, and other agen&-es over t~e decades and am
p/eased to say t~at i5J 1M2 has ~ome -to appreciate m/iy f/ow data and granted Ime t~e Bo O1wen ,Award
/asti year- fo- saupp/ying hit o t lhe1. Th7e L/AKEl) 'TC>,/ data has slown a steady de&;ne in t~e amfoune of
nitrogen in t~e watler. The data a/so docum entS a 10% ;inceaSe in ./fow S;ine I9qq. ur-prisin/y t e f//ow
i;nceased ao /ow water f-ro}l the drougch oCf 2000 and 2006! Ze SeeMS that Bauqg Spring has 'a improved
over t /e /asit two decades.
Linda Bysta5 fr-om LCA e thought tMat Ba3u Spr-ing might e uniae in th7at, so I contacted
f'WA MOI and t/ey Ana//y snent me teir wateI iuaiy data r-om Buaa Spaing fun. It conf imed t e r-end
that we dis5coveed htougcih LAKEf) 4AC/. The&y have -ecent/y i;nta/ed a ecoading aitn g3auige and a
pI-essur-e sensitiVe 3age that lepo-'fts tie stage of? the sp-ing to Pa/aea ontnuouas/y. f fhaz has awakened
a new& ctiosity and fevita/Zed this o/d man.
Sp/an to enjoy LAKEf AT A/ as /ong as Z can ,za sw;5ih;in ofver to? a ashae/ing th/e '/a4e' and
ie Sunsei is i;, ev;ita/e. Z wtuc/d ,e ,nice o have an apprent/;2 e to 1a/ae over. T7e proje~ has sh own
-eSu/lS. and i; Very sati;s~fyi/, J' is; lut eg;nning~ ie& need to cont ine /(eep;ing an eye on ~he ajiUtfe-
at Buagg Syplina.
56nere/y3

Joe B-anhan
BaU3 6Spf-5ng3
Ofahiump&oa /Z

Hac a loi \ o \\ouilI like lo haliii \itlh lie LAKE\\ ATCH f:iuil\ Scil it in lo Di\ id \\a;lson. 7'122 N\\ "7qs
Stliet. C.ainiiie ill. FL 12 53-3, i" 1o dh llai n a ill clu and i \\C %%ill _'.Cl in 111 :1 flrllie olumeC


10










Pythiosis in Dogs

(Phycomyosis or Swamp Fever)


Late in the summer of 2010 the
LAKEWATCH volunteer on
Deerback lake in Marion County
reported to Florida
LAKEWATCH that her dog had
been infected with a disease that
the dog got from her lake. The
disease was called pythiosis (also
called Phycomyosis or swamp
fever.)

Pythiosis is an uncommon but
often fatal infectious disease that
occurs in dogs, cats and horses. In
dogs this disease affects the
gastrointestinal tract or the skin.
Dogs with open soars usually
contract the disease when they
drink, stand or swim in water
inhabited by the aquatic mold
Pythium insidiosum which is
found throughout the southern
United States, especially the Gulf
Coast states.

Large breed dogs, particularly
hunting dogs working near water
are at higher risk however any
dogs exposed to warm freshwater
lakes, swamps and ponds may be
at risk. Worldwide the
gastrointestinal form is the most
common form however, in the
Southeastern United States the
cutaneous (skin) form is most
common. Most infections occur
in the summer months,
particularly after periods of heavy
rainfall.

Symptoms

Infected spores enter the system
through open soars or wounds in
the animal. Once in the animals
system Pythium organisms grow


A dog infected with Pythium inside
causing sever tissue damage that
may include wounds that won't
heal and drain continuously.
These lesions are most commonly
found on the legs, head and base
of the tail. These frequently may
itch and are often confused with
other (less lethal) skin infections.
In the gastrointestinal form,
thickening of digestive tract
tissue may be severe and cause
complete obstruction. Some signs
to watch for may include: chronic
weight loss, intermittent
vomiting, diarrhea with or
without blood, lethargy, chronic
open and bloody skin lesions that
will not heal and skin masses.

Diagnosis

This disease can be difficult to
diagnose. Baseline tests can
include a complete blood count, a
biochemical profile, and
urinalysis. Swabs or biopsies of
the infected tissue studied under a
microscope can sometimes yield


E
0
U




oum showing lesion.
an organism identification.
Culterd swabs may also lead to
positive identification however
most other diseases are ruled out
before a postitve diagnosis for
Pythiosis.

Treatment

The most common treatment is
the surgical removal of the
affected area, however this must
occur early in its course for this
or any treatment to be affective.
Some antifungal agents may be
used several months following
successful surgery.

Prognosis

Unless the affected area is
successfully removed early in its
course prognosis is very poor.
Only one out of every five
patients recover if surgery is not
successful. If the infected area is
successfully removed prognosis is
fair.









UF UNIVERSITY of

UF FLORIDA

IFAS
Florida LAKEWATCH
Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences
School of Forest Resources and Conservation
7922 NW 71st Street
Gainesville, FL 32653


C.
-~I ~
- ~~ I)t.


I" V
- -

/.


. Y. .* '
At


9.


- ^-


Pythium insidiosum hyphe drawn by Jan Witkamp, a Dutch investigator in 1924.

l I / (',. Ihtr ,1 f ,. ,. ; \, l ,' ,->. I,. Ihl, ,11,. I ,I, t tl *I, ,i, / .I.,,. (, 'I,., I rt i Il t l ,f .
i,,, I / 1,,l i,, l ,, I. ,, I . I .I, I/. I. I /'.l,. / . a , /, P 1 1 .. l /I I I r t /.

v , 1- .!I! d h!-Ip I d, r ..d 1r : 1 1
i. . r.i' iil-' *D. 1i h il l >. l ii m i.i ;iJ nni nDUl" .1 I'llnil


Elorida N&

LAKEWATCH
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
Flonda LAKEWATCH
Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences
School of Forest Resources and Conservation
7922NW71stSeet
Gainemvlle FL 32653
cr call
1-800LAKEWATCH(800-525-3928)
(352)392-4817
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
LAKEWATCH program




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