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River surveys defend against aquatic invaders

News article |

Recently, staff from the Murraylands and Riverland Landscape Board conducted river surveys from Blanchetown to Murray Bridge looking for aquatic weeds.

Posted 08 February 2021.

Murraylands and Riverland Landscape Board Senior District Officer Scott Hutchens said our District Team and landholders are the first line of defence against aquatic weeds along the river, creeks and backwaters.

“Aquatic weeds are a real threat to agriculture, tourism, the environment and our general enjoyment of the river and have the potential to cost millions,” Mr Hutchens said.

“The program involves searching for new incursions and treating known infestations of aquatic weeds and major declared weeds along the river.

“The control work is undertaken with specific chemical that is registered for use in waterways and is nontoxic to aquatic fauna.

“This year the focus was on early control of yellow water lily (Nymphaea mexicana), Sagittaria, golden dodder and its host noogoora burr along the river.

“The team worked with adjoining landholders and treated known sites of yellow water lily. Two new large infestations of this weed were found and treated at Caurnamont south and Younghusband, follow-up control work has been scheduled to stop the spread into the river.

“This kind of work requires the team to really have their eye in for these aquatic weeds and be willing to go to extra lengths to get that last weed whether by boat, kayak or wading out into the water.

“The team also found a new weed species Sagittaria platyphylla, which is becoming increasingly common in irrigation channels, drains, shallows creeks and wetlands, in other states, where it is a real threat to the environment, agriculture and recreation.

Mr Hutchens said the District Team were quick to act and started control works immediately before it could spread. The treated weeds will continue to be followed-up and the team will search for any new infestations.

To report a suspected sighting of any of these weeds landholders and community are encouraged to contact their local Murraylands and Riverland Landscape office, Murray Bridge phone: 8532 9100.

The program is supported by the Murraylands and Riverland Landscape Board through funding from the Landscape Levies.

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