Camden Council residents have been alerted to be on the lookout for frogbit, an invasive, smothering waterweed which poses a serious threat to our environment, after the weed was found by a council biosecurity officer in local Rossmore dams and in Rileys and South Creek.
NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) State Priority Weeds coordinator, Charles Mifsud, said DPI is working with council and Greater Sydney Local Land Services to eradicate the frogbit, Limnobium laevigatum, infestation.
“It’s likely frogbit was flushed downstream during heavy summer rain events from an upstream infestation and surveillance is continuing to detect and eradicate the weed,” Mr Mifsud said.
“Fortunately, no frogbit has been found during inspections of properties near the confirmed infestation sites.
“Frogbit, or Amazon frogbit, is native to Central and South America and it is illegal to grow or sell the plant in NSW as it poses a serious biosecurity risk.
“Plants which have been illegally sold for use in ponds and aquariums were dumped and have now infested our waterways.”
The first known incursion of frogbit in NSW waterways was at Green Point in 2017 and infestations have since been found in the Georges River, Prospect Creek, Fairfield, Smithfield, Greystanes, Plumpton, Bulahdelah, Cowra, Forster and Lismore.
All known infestations in NSW have been treated to eradicate the devastating weed, which forms large dense mats across the water’s surface, prevents native water plants from growing, reduces light, food and shelter for fish and other aquatic animals and can block waterways and irrigation channels.
Mr Mifsud said frogbit has been found in backyard ponds and aquariums and for sale in aquarium shops, at markets and online.
“If you suspect a plant in your yard or our waterways or for sale at a market, shop or online is frogbit, please call the NSW DPI Biosecurity Helpline 1800 680 244 or your local council, who can assist in identification and eradication,” he said.
“Frogbit is a nasty weed and we need everyone to know this plant must not be sold or grown in NSW.”
More information and photographs of frogbit are available online: https://weeds.dpi.nsw.gov.au/Weeds/Details/286
Source: NSW DPI