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Author Topic: Water lettuce contained after floods  (Read 2155 times)

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Qld Fisheries, Editor

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Water lettuce contained after floods
« on: July 18, 2011, 09:30:12 PM »
Water lettuce contained after floods

Surveillance by Biosecurity Queensland has confirmed that water lettuce has not become established below Cunnamulla in the iconic Murray Darling Basin following the floods earlier this year.

Water lettuce is a free floating aquatic weed that rapidly forms dense mats covering rivers, dams and irrigation canals.

It restricts water flow, increases water loss by transpiration and is a breeding ground for mosquitoes.

Biosecurity Queensland's Graham Hardwick said surveillance was part of the Queensland Government's Flood Recovery Program.

"We have monitored the area from just south of the Tannock weir at Cunnamulla to the New South Wales border," Mr Hardwick said.

"During the floods, water from the weir carried water lettuce into the Warrego River, a tributary of the Murray Darling basin, so it was important to check whether water lettuce had spread further down the catchment.

"If the Murray Darling basin was infested, water lettuce could have spread into inland New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia.

"This would have had devastating long term consequences but I am very pleased that our surveillance shows no water lettuce growing in the area.

"Biosecurity Queensland regularly works with local government, regional NRM groups and the community to provide best practice advice and support to help contain water lettuce through mechanical, biological and chemical control.

"This is important as cooperation and shared responsibility is essential for the effective management of weeds and pest animals.

"A number of integrated control methods have been trialled in the Tannock weir, such as using an oil spill boom to contain the water lettuce and using different spraying technologies."

Water lettuce is a class 2 declared pest plant in Queensland and is a strategic control issue for the Murray Darling catchment.

For more information on declared weeds in Queensland visit http://www.biosecurity.qld.gov.au/ or phone 13 25 23.

Source: Water lettuce contained after floods



 

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