There’s a celebration Saturday at the Lake Trafford Marina in Immokalee marking the completion of the Lake Trafford dredging project which removed 6 million cubic yards of muck from the lake’s bottom.
The project restored the health of Southwest Florida’s largest fresh water lake.
The project was spurred by a major fish kill in 1996. The fish kill was caused by a buildup of muck on the lake’s bottom – a by-product of treatments for hydrilla and other exotic aquatic plants. Eventually green algae covered the lake’s surface, shutting down photosynthesis and depleting oxygen levels.
Action taken by the Lake Trafford Restoration Task Force led to more than 15 million dollars in funding from the state to clean-up the 15 thousand acre lake by removing the muck.
Ski Oleski and his late wife Anne, owners of the Lake Trafford Marina, were major players in the task force –a coalition of government, non-profit and community members.
The muck was piped to nearby former agriculture land now owned by the South Florida Water Management District. Water Managers have not yet determined what to do with the property.
Lake Trafford has been restocked with bass with hopes it will once again be a major bass fishing destination.