Weed threatens waterways

The invasive frogbit weed grows extremely fast.
The invasive frogbit weed grows extremely fast.

Chief executive Julie Robert said the weed was found by a SERCUL employee, who was taking school children on a tour of the creek.

The weed is spread between the Whaleback Avenue drain through to a section of the Bannister Creek Living Stream in Lynwood.

Ms Roberts said it had taken SERCUL 18 months to eradicate frogbit from the Leige Street wetlands.

‘How the weed has come to be within this waterway we do not know,’ Ms Robert said.

‘We need to let everyone who cultures this plant in their aquariums, through aquaculture or through feeding their chickens, know that this plant is an extremely dangerous, invasive weed.

‘If it got into irrigation channels in the Harvey area or Serpentine, the result could be disastrously expensive. The plant grows extremely rapidly, doubling its size in days and developing new plants readily from the adult plants.

‘New plant leaves can be only millimetres across and have functional root systems that can easily grab hold of birds legs wading through waterways.’

Ms Robert said SERCUL volunteers would try to collect all the plants, estimated to be in their thousands, in an attempt to eradicate the plant from the waterway.

She said the Water Corporation would pay for the program.