One of Australia’s worst water weeds has been discovered in a public drain in Serpentine Jarrahdale, prompting an alert from the Department of Agriculture and Food to avoid dumping suspect plants in creeks or drains.
Department biosecurity officer Darryl Stewart said a landholder noticed the weed water hyacinth (Eichhornia crassipes) and reported it immediately to the department.
“Water hyacinth has the potential to choke up rivers, lakes and other waterways,” Mr Stewart said.
“A common feature of the weed is its ability to spread rapidly and form a dense mat above or below the water. This prevents light entering the water and depletes the water of oxygen, causing fish and other creatures to die and shading native plants,” he said
“Water hyacinth is a declared plant in Western Australia which means it is prohibited from sale and must be destroyed when found. It was also recently lists as a Weed of National Significance.
It is suspected the weed was dumped in the drain as an unwanted pond plant or from a fish tank.
The department is currently working to remove the weed.
Mr Stewart encouraged landholders to check drains running through their properties and immediately report suspect aquatic plants found to the nearest Department of Agriculture and Food office or to the department’s Pest and Disease Information Service on freecall 1800 084 881.
“Protecting agriculture and the environment is everyone's business,” Mr Stewart said.
“People are asked to dispose of unwanted pond plants responsibly rather than introducing them to waterways or drains from where they could spread to our rivers.”
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