Water weed inspections start

13 January 2023

It’s fast growing, floats and causes havoc in our waterways … salvinia molesta is a water weed you don’t want to see.

Eurobodalla Council’s invasive species team spent a decade controlling the invasive weed that forms dense mats on the water’s surface, smothering and destroying habitat for aquatic animals. The team used helicopters and hard yakka by hand to get rid of salvinia.

Invasive species supervisor Paul Martin said the team will be doing inspections in Sunshine Bay and Denhams Beach throughout February and March to check salvinia hasn’t made a comeback.

It was in 2011, when salvinia was first spotted in a one-hectare dam at Sunshine Bay. Mr Martin said removing it was “incredibly resource intensive, laborious and dangerous”.

“We spent the best part of 10 years spraying by hand, from a helicopter, releasing biological control, removing it with an aquatic excavator, and hand-scooping it from the complex wetland environment,” Mr Martin said.

Mr Martin said salvinia would have been disastrous if it took over the shire’s drinking water supply.

“There was a significant risk to our water supply if a waterbird carried salvinia to Deep Creek Dam,” Mr Martin said.

“It’s important to protect our drinking water. By doing future inspections we can make sure salvinia does not exist in our catchment.”

Landholders and Council have a legal obligation under the Biosecurity Act 2015 to stop the spread of the weed.

Landholders in the area have been notified of the upcoming inspection. Mr Martin said they will be quick and landholders’ presence is optional.

“There’s no need to be home for the inspection; our invasive species team will do a quick inspection and report back to you if we find anything of concern,” Mr Martin said.

“However, we certainly welcome being accompanied. Landholders can get in touch to make a suitable date and time to go through the property together if they prefer.”

The team will also check for other serious water weeds such as water hyacinth, horsetail and alligator weed.

For more information, contact Paul Martin on 4474 1000 or paul.martin@esc.nsw.gov.au

For more information, visit the weed control program web page.


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