Plans are underway to remove 19 acres of tussock from Hunters Lake which is located between Spring Hill Drive and County Line Rd, just east of Commercial Way. In 2015, the lake was estimated to cover 429 acres. It has grown over the years. In 1954, the lake covered 302 acres. A 2009 report indicated 100 acres of invasive tussock which poses a threat to native fish, birds and plants.
In order to access the lake for the removal project, Pasco Hernando State College Board of Trustees has offered to establish a maintenance easement agreement with the county so that the county and their contractors can have deep water access to the lake and the existing boat ramp. Tussocks that are removed from the lake will temporarily be placed on PHSC property while they dry out. The county agrees to move the tussocks after the 48 hour dry time to the Hernando County landfill.
A 4.8 acre portion of mitigation will be sponsored by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission, while the other 14.2 acres will be county funded. The partnership with FWC is contingent on reopening public access to Hunters Lake. The tussock removal cost is $150,000 which is budgeted to come out of the county’s Environmentally Sensitive Lands (ESL) fund. Sediment removal will cost $275,000 and is budgeted under the aquatic department. The two projects will be coordinated in order to minimize costs. Work is expected to begin in Spring 2017 and end early Summer.