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Author Topic: Salvinia eradicated from five dams  (Read 954 times)

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Salvinia eradicated from five dams
« on: September 27, 2013, 09:11:28 PM »
Salvinia eradicated from Dawson

26 September 2013 - Vic DEPI

The Department of Environment and Primary Industries (DEPI) has successfully eradicated the State prohibited weed salvinia (Salvinia molesta) from five dams in Dawson. 

The aquatic plant infestation was removed during three years of intensive treatment and monitoring.

The infestation was first discovered by a local resident and employee of the former Department of Primary Industries (DPI) after they had attended a training session on State prohibited weeds.

DPI officers have spent the last three years treating the sites and inspecting surrounding properties and waterways to ensure it had not spread further.

The infestation was the largest naturalised infestation found in Victoria, and the treatment required agencies from across the catchment to work together.

DEPI Biosecurity area manager Scott McArdle was pleased with the results.

"It has been a tremendous effort by all DEPI staff involved and the initial treatment and monitoring was crucial to preventing the weed establishing in the Thomson River," Mr McArdle said.

"The effects of salvinia in the Macalister Irrigation Network,  Heart Morass and Gippsland Lakes system could have been disastrous, environmentally as well as economically."

Salvinia is a State prohibited weed under the Catchment and Land Protection Act 1994, and if found is treated by DEPI at no cost to the landowner. It is a declared weed due to its highly invasive nature and ability to reproduce rapidly.

Its dense growth can block waterways, decrease water quality and adversely impact on native aquatic plants and animals.

It is a free floating aquatic weed that prefers still or slow moving water. It has green leaves that are covered with waxy hairs to repel water. Salvinia has an oval shaped leaf that matures and folds up as the plant reproduces.

The initial treatment removed over 120 cubic metres of plant material for on-site burial, followed up by chemical control of the remaining fragments.

In conjunction with the treatment, more than  200 properties within a five kilometre radius were inspected to determine the extent of the infestation.

Information sessions were held for the general public and annual checks of the Thomson River have been carried out.

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