June 20, 2013
The Department of Environment and Primary Industries (DEPI) is encouraging Yarrawonga district residents to report sightings of the state prohibited weed, water hyacinth (Eichhornia crassipes).
DEPI Biosecurity Officer Kate Cunnew said water hyacinth was considered one of the world’s worst aquatic species and an infestation could double its size within two weeks, devastating natural waterways and impacting heavily on aquatic flora and fauna.
“Water hyacinth can be distinguished by its purple flower spikes in summer and thick, fleshy round leaves that sit on the water’s surface, while its long roots trail in the water below,” Ms Cunnew said.
“The plant has been unlawfully sold at regional markets in the past and DEPI is concerned that residents may have innocently bought some of the ‘pretty plants’ for their fish tanks, ponds or dams.
“It’s vital the public report if they have seen or purchased this plant to ensure that DEPI can proactively protect our waterways, such as Lake Mulwala.
“DEPI is urging residents not to attempt to try control or dispose of the weed themselves. Residents are asked to contact DEPI for the safe and secure disposal of plants.”
Anyone who may have seen the plant offered for sale or growing anywhere in Victoria is urged to report it to DEPI immediately on 136 186.
In Victoria this highly invasive aquatic species is a state prohibited weed under the Catchment and Land Protection Act 1994. In New South Wales the plant is declared as a Class 2 weed under the Noxious Weeds Act 1993.
Anyone who may have seen the plant offered for sale, or growing on the New South Wales side of the river is urged to report it immediately to their local shire council. In Corowa, Corowa Shire Council Weed Officer Pat Minogue can be contacted on 0427 929 597.