Cowra Council are asking residents to report any sightings of a prohibitive matter plant, after biosecurity officers detected the presence of Frogbit, (Limnobium laevigatum) in the Pine Mount area between Woodstock and Darbys Falls.
Council biosecurity officers are working closely with the NSW Department of Primary Industries to ensure a rapid response to the outbreak and are calling on the public to help identify and report any other local sources.
“The NSW Department of Primary Industries have moved swiftly to work with our team of biosecurity officers to develop a plan of action for surveillance, awareness and treatment,” said Director of Infrastructure & Operations, Dirk Wymer.
“Public assistance is essential to ensure our creeks and waterways remain clear of this weed, which is considered a major biosecurity threat in NSW. We will be inspecting 85 properties within a 5km radius of the initial outbreak and ask for the co-operation of all landholders in the designated area when the inspections of all dams, ponds, creeks and waterways begin,” Mr Wymer said.
Frogbit weed is commonly found in fish ponds, aquariums and water features, but can rapidly invade waterways.
The weed originates from fresh water habitats of tropical and subtropical Central and South America. Although in the early stages of establishment in Australia, these weeds have the potential to seriously degrade Australia’s ecosystems if left untreated.
Frogbit has been banned from sale since 2014. It is classified as a prohibited matter under the Biosecurity Act 2015 and heavy fines apply for an offence committed under the Act.
To identify the weed, look for smooth, rounded, fleshy green leaves up to four cm across, with sponge-like sections underneath. Images of the Frogbit weed are attached.
To report Frogbit, please call the NSW Invasive Plants and Animals Enquiry Line 1800 680 244, or Cowra Council Infrastructure & Operations Department on 6340 2070.