MEDIA RELEASE – Bargara Lakes Saved From Salvinia Infestation

More…A concerted effort to eradicate a heavy infestation of salvinia from a man made lake at Bargara Beach is reaping positive results thanks to some innovative methods employed by Bundaberg Regional Council staff.

The pest plant was choking the lake which forms a part of the Bargara Lakes housing development and nearby Carlyle Gardens Retirement Village and is the responsibility of Bundaberg Regional Council.

Salvinia is one of Australia’s worst aquatic pest plants and regularly invades the region’s waterways and water storages, including the Burnett and Kolan Rivers and Baldwin Swamp, affecting water quality, flow, wildlife, irrigation and recreational activities.

Under optimal growth conditions salvinia can double in volume every 2-3 days and reach 400 tonnes of wet weight per hectare.

Nutrients washed into the lake from adjoining drains, lawns and gardens provided ideal growing conditions for the weed.

Council’s spokesperson for Natural Resource Management Cr. Danny Rowleson said at one stage salvinia covered the entire lake and was posing several problems.

“Council began an eradication program including introducing salvinia weevils and spraying, which achieved some very effective results” Cr. Rowleson said.

Cr. Rowleson said as a section of the lake became salvinia-free, Council officers installed a floating barrier made from PVC piping, preventing the weed from re-infesting the lake and making it easier to spray remnant sections of it.Division 5 Councillor Greg Barnes said Council also built several two metre square pontoons with mesh bases to float on the lake.“Plants including melaleucas are put on the pontoon with the base of the pots sitting in the water allowing the roots to draw nutrients out of the lake” Cr. Barnes said.“This means the condition of the lake water becomes less favourable for salvinia to grow, while allowing native lilies to regenerate” he said.

Cr. Barnes said the eradication program had proved very successful and had restored the natural beauty of the lake and its surrounds.

“Council will continue to spray outbreaks of the weed in an ongoing maintenance program” he said.

“The work to clear the salvinia from the lake was certainly a huge task and Council is very happy with the results as are residents living in the vicinity of the area” he said.
imgp2912a-large.jpg
Cr. Danny Rowleson(Natural Resources), Niel Ash (Carlyle Gardens Resident’s Assn.)
& Cr. Greg Barnes (Division 5) inspect Bargara Lakes

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