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Water bodies, watersheds and storm water

Harvesting gizzard shad from Lake Apopka

Fishermen Remove Gizzard Shad from Their Nets

Harvesting gizzard shad from Lake Apopka removes the nutrients (phosphorus and nitrogen) contained in the fish bodies and reduces the internal recycling of these nutrients within the lake. This improves water clarity by reducing the severity of algal  blooms, which depend on phosphorus for growth.

In other lakes, restoration strategies that include shad harvesting have resulted in an improved food web, reduced algal blooms, improved water clarity, expansion of vegetated habitat and improved game fish populations. This harvesting procedure, in conjunction with reduction of nutrients entering the lake and removal of in-lake nutrients by filtration marshes, is producing similar results in Lake Apopka.

Fishermen Remove Gizzard Shad from Lake Apopka

Between 1990 and December 2014, gizzard shad harvesting has removed 21.5 million pounds of these fish from the lake. This equates to removing 151,046 pounds of phosphorus and 452,845 pounds of nitrogen removed from the lake.


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St. Johns River Water Management District
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