Hazelmere Village residents Ron Brooks (left) and David George are concerned about the weed, salvinia molesta, and water lilies choking Condor Lake at Eli Waters.
Hazelmere Village residents Ron Brooks (left) and David George are concerned about the weed, salvinia molesta, and water lilies choking Condor Lake at Eli Waters. Karleila Thomsen

Noxious weed choking Condor Lake

A WEED that grows quickly to form thick mats over the surface of Australian lakes is choking a Fraser Coast waterway.

Condor Lake, between Hazelmere Village and Noble Lakeside at Eli Waters, is being suffocated by salvinia molesta.

Residents of Hazelmere say local wildlife is dwindling as a result and the Fraser Coast Regional Council needs to help before serious damage is done.

“It’s never been as bad as this,” says David George, whose home of two-and-a-half years backs on to the lake.

“If this continues we’ll have nothing,” added neighbour Ron Brooks.

But the council says it has already acted on the problem.

“As a result of the infestation a biological control organism (weevil) was released into the lake system to control the growth,” said councillor Sue Brooks.

“The effectiveness of the weevil is assessed regularly and currently the weevil is providing control.”

Ms Brooks has welcomed any suggestions residents may have about affordable control measures of salvinia, which she says is usually introduced to waterways inadvertently by the public.

Mr George emailed councillors on Tuesday, inviting them to inspect the lake.

He said the removal of the salvinia, and water lilies that are also playing havoc, was long overdue.

The plants, he said, cover two-thirds of the lake, which is home to 60-plus birds including black swans, darters, magpie geese and ducks.

“If nothing is done it will silt up and become a bog, killing all the fish, turtles etc,” Mr George wrote to councillors.

According to CSIRO, salvinia molesta originated in Brazil and was first recorded in Australia in 1952. The aquatic fern is a serious weed in Australia, South East Asia, the Pacific and parts of Africa.

Ms Brooks said the council was responsible for managing Condor Lake as part of the local stormwater system: “... And in line with our commitment to WSUD (water sensitive urban design) principles council will investigate the residents’ concerns about siltation.

“If siltation is an issue council can investigate methods to reduce this and I will be asking that this be done in time for upcoming budget discussions.”

Ms Brooks said there was no specific policy but the council was developing WSUD methods to continually improve water quality across the Fraser Coast.



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