Water hyacinth alert in Bendigo
16 February 2017
One of Victoria's highest risk weed species has been found at two suburban properties in Bendigo.
Water hyacinth (Eichhornia crassipes), which is a declared State prohibited weed, was recently identified on a local gardening Facebook page by two staff from Agriculture Victoria.
Agriculture Victoria staff responded quickly to remove all water hyacinth plants and safely dispose of them, but are concerned that there may be other infestations of the weed in the Bendigo area.
Agriculture Victoria Leading Biosecurity Officer Dr Zachariah Munakamwe said water hyacinth is widely considered as one of the world's worst invasive weeds.
"Water hyacinth has the potential to grow rapidly and completely cover waterways, devastating aquatic environments and costing billions of dollars each year in direct control costs and associated economic losses," Dr Munakamwe said.
Residents in the Bendigo area are therefore being asked to report any water hyacinth sightings. Any verified water hyacinth infestations will be removed and safely disposed of by Agriculture Victoria staff free of charge.
"Please don't try to treat or dispose of water hyacinth yourself, as it can easily find its way into important waterway systems, creating issues elsewhere," Dr Munakamwe said.
"In this case, all of the water hyacinth plants that were found were contained in small fish ponds and both land owners did not realise that the plants were highly invasive declared weeds," he said.
State prohibited weeds are the highest category of declared noxious weeds under the Catchment and Land Protection Act 1994. These species either do not occur in Victoria, or are present in such low numbers that they can be eradicated from the State.
It is illegal to buy, sell or transport State prohibited weeds.
For more information and the full list of Victorian State prohibited weeds, please visit the Agriculture Victoria website at http://agriculture.vic.gov.au/agriculture/pests-diseases-and-weeds/weeds/state-prohibited-weeds
If you have or think you have seen water hyacinth, or any State prohibited weeds, please contact Agriculture Victoria by phoning 136 186 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Categorised under: Agriculture