21st Annual Johns Lake Holiday Boat Parade Sunday

21st Annual Johns Lake Holiday Boat Parade Sunday

Please join us for the 21st Annual Johns Lake Boat Parade! Updates and information are available on Facebook @ Johns Lake Improvement Association.

This year, we have some great prizes to encourage everyone to decorate their boats and make this parade truly spectacular for our 21st year on the water!

1st Prize – Full boat detail from Tommy’s of Clermont
2nd Prize – $100 cash
3rd Prize – $50 cash

All boats wishing to participate for prizes MUST register their boat IN ADVANCE of the parade to qualify. Final judging will take place at the last quarter mile of the parade route.

Here is the registration link.

All boats participating should gather no later than 6:10pm in the NW corner of Johns Lake; otherwise known as Clear Lake (see map for exact location). THIS IS THE SAME MEETING LOCATION AS LAST YEAR. The lead boat will start the parade at 6:15pm by blasting an air-horn several times. All boats should follow in-line and slowly head east. The parade route will follow the northern, eastern, and southern shores of Johns Lake (from Johns Lake Landing in Lake County to Twinwaters in Orange County, where parade ends). 

The parade will take about 2 hours to complete. Please see the Parade Route Map at the end of this article.

If this is your first time decorating your boat for a parade, here are a few tips:
Christmas lights run on 120v AC and are designed to operate from your home electrical current. To operate lights on your boat, you will need to purchase a DC to AC power inverter. Power inverters are available at most auto parts stores, Wal-Mart, and Harbor Freight. Power inverters convert your boat’s 12v DC power to 120v AC. Inverters do have a limit as to how much power they can generate from your boat’s DC battery. Inverters are rated by watts; the more watts the inverter can handle, the more lights you can put on your boat.

Most power inverters above 150 watts will need to be connected directly to your boat’s battery terminals to provide full power as 12v outlet plugs (cigarette lighters) are power limited by a fuse.

Use of LED lights provide the ability to power many more lights than incandescent lights. A 300 watt power inverter connected directly to your battery could power over 600 LED lights as opposed to 60 incandescent lights! Be careful though, as some units will overheat if too much load is placed
on them. Test your lights for a period of time before the parade starts. Make sure you use UL approved outdoor lights as the lights on your boat may get wet and you do not want to cause a fire or shock someone on your boat!

If you do not live on the lake and are looking for a public place to view the parade, here are a few options:

  1. The Public Boat Ramp on Johns Lake located at 13620 Lake Blvd., Winter Garden, FL 34787 (north shore of Johns Lake, off of Hwy. 50 at the Lake/Orange County line. Although the parade will not go directly by the boat ramp this year, it could still be viewed here from a distance.

  2. For Public Road Viewing you can view the parade in Johns Lake Landing Subdivision at the
    intersection of Willow Hills Ln and Good Hearth Blvd, located on the Clermont side of Johns Lake. There are also a number of Empty Lots along Secret Hollow Loop and Hickory Wind Drive, further in that subdivision.

If there are any other public viewing areas of the lake you are aware of, please post those on the
Facebook Page @JohnsLakeImprovementAssociation. We’d love to hear about more viewing
areas that may be available so please put up those posts!!

Parade Route 2021

IMPORTANT: Please don’t forget to register for the parade. Even if you’re not entering the parade for prizes, it is extremely helpful to the event organizers to know how many boats will be participating.

Hydrilla and Carp Control Update 11/21

Hydrilla and Carp Control Update 11/21

Florida Fish and Wildlife (FWC) is planning to add four hundred (400) carp to Johns Lake in the near future. They typically put carp in the lake every few years. The primary purpose of the carp is to assist with controlling Hydrilla. There is a delicate balance to maintain with the number of carp in the lake. If the population grows too large, they will eat not only the Hydrilla but the important native plants as well, which could negatively impact the eco-system of the lake. FWC monitors the growth of the hydrilla to determine how many carp to add and what frequency to put them in Johns Lake.

There is no way to accurately say exactly how many of the carp stocked in the past are alive because we don’t have accurate numbers for stocking mortality (predation by largemouth bass when they are young, etc.). We are working to get better numbers on the natural grass carp mortality curve. From what some have observed, you start to lose 10-20% per year after age 6 or so. Most do not live past the age 10-12 years old. The maximum length of a grass carp is 4.6 ft (1.4 m), and the maximum weight is 97 pounds (44 kg). Adults look identical to juveniles, and they are not able to reproduce.

Plants Preferred by the Grass Carp

  • Hydrilla
  • Coontail
  • Muskgrass
  • Naiad
  • Slender and jointed spikerush

Plants Preferred by the Grass Carp

  • Water hyacinth
  • Water lettuce
  • Water lilies
  • Torpedo grass
  • Hygrophila
  • Cattail

Invasive Plants 2021

Invasive Plants 2021

The lake was treated with herbicide early in November 2021. Some hydrilla helps the water clarity. The County uses a mix of herbicides and grass carp to keep the hydrilla in check.

From a FWC perspective the lake looks great. We have good coverage of submersed vegetation. Water clarity is good. We are seeing an upward trend in our largemouth bass population and noticing more ducks as well. In addition, FWC has treated the Cuban bulrush and other invasive species along the shoreline.

Florida’s Most Invasive Aquatic Plants

  • Hydrilla
  • Aquatic soda apple
  • Crested floating heart 
  • Cuban club-rush
  • Feathered mosquitofern
  • Giant salvinia
  • Hygrophila
  • Lyngbya
  • Water Primrose
  • Torpedograss
  • Water Hyacinth

Cuban Club-Rush

As many lakefront homeowners already know, adding, removing or modifying the vegetation along the shoreline of Johns Lake is regulated by the state of Florida. These activities are monitored through a permitting process as part of the” Florida Aquatic Plant Management Act” and the “Florida Aquatic Weed Control Act”, both are administered by the Florida Wildlife Commission (FWC).

Removal of harmful/invasive plant life is encouraged but it must be done properly and, in most cases, replanting of eco-friendly vegetation in place of the plants removed is required. This is necessary to strike a balance between allowing lakefront residents to enjoy the benefits of a nice, aquatic environment along their shoreline while maintaining healthy standards for appropriate foliage around Johns Lake in general. Part of the conditions of issuing a permit may be the requirement to replant specific vegetation to support a healthy lakefront.

Florida law requires all persons to obtain a permit from FWC prior to controlling, removing or altering aquatic plants in waters of the state

With a permit you can remove invasive plants which will allow room for native plants to grow and expand. This ensures that you have a plan for managing your waterfront that will not harm the water body and help protect the investment you have made in it. The work can be done through physical or mechanical means. Removal by herbicides also requires a permit.

Proper management of the shoreline will also:

  • Enhance aesthetics
  • Improve food and habitat for fish and wildlife
  • Provide erosion control and soil stabilization
  • Ensure plants are present for nutrient uptake which will result in cleaner water

Any lakefront aquatic plant activity that falls outside the above list requires an FWC permit. This
includes creating a sandy beachfront, backfilling soil at the shoreline, etc. Construction of docks
and lakefront structures fall under other permitting requirements.
The homeowner or a contractor working on the homeowner’s behalf is responsible for obtaining the
permit. Once the permit is issued the contractor or homeowner can begin the work. FWC and/or
the EPD should inspect the final result to ensure it meets the requirements specified in the permit.

2021 Year in Review

2021 Year in Review

     While the year isn’t over and there are many fun days on the lake ahead, this will be the last
newsletter of the year. What a year for the lake, with the impact of Covid, people were drawn to
outdoor activities, and we noticed a significant increase in boat traffic and use of the public boat
ramp. We had some issues with jet ski rental companies, so we worked with the Lake County
Commissioners to stop them. We have not heard of any major injuries on the lake this year.

     We reaffirmed our elected officer’s commitment for the Johns Lake Association Board. We
completed scheduled Board meetings, published three electronic newsletters, and provided a
number of updates on our Facebook page. We decided to improve our Web Page at
Johnslakefloida.com and have just started to make changes to improve your experience. The plan
is to make it easier to navigate, have sections for past newsletters, historical articles, a place for
pictures, change the contact links, and change the way we send out our newsletters.

     The committees we set up had many meetings that included, Invasive Species, Boat Parade,
Outfall, Mission Statement and Marketing/Membership delivered mix results. We worked with the
state on the control of invasive vegetation species, including hydrilla, and provided feedback on the
areas that were being proposed for treatments or left out. The state has not added any grass carp
this year due to shortages from the fish hatcheries, but they are still planning to add carp when
available. The Boat Parade team is planning the event to be bigger and better this year. The
Outfall Study was completed with several recommendations that Orange County, The Town of
Oakland, and Lake County worked out a maintenance funding plan and easement rights which has
yet to be finalized. Oakland has already secured easement rights for the properties in the town that
are being developed. The Marketing and Mission statement work continues.

     We reported the Orange County Lake levels and kept the data in between reports. Orange County
started a yearlong water quality survey and contracted with a third-party company to take monthly
samples and will provide the report when available. We worked with Orange County to nominate a
few larger parcels of land to be placed into the Green Space Purchase Program on the east end of
the lake. This would help connect Tucker Farms and help with our outfall concerns. We will provide
updates when available.

     Overall, the lake is in good shape. The water levels are down some from the past five years
heading into dry season but holding okay. FWC just treated the hydrilla, bass fishing has been
good and crappie fishing has started with water temperatures around 70f. Enjoy the holidays and
be safe on the lake!