Residents asked to help manage spread of invasive Amazon frogbit in Bayswater Brook

Frogbit in Browns Lake and on the bank. Picture: DBCA.
Residents asked to help manage spread of invasive Amazon frogbit in Bayswater Brook
Frogbit in Browns Lake and on the bank. Picture: DBCA.

THE Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions (DBCA) are seeking residents to help manage the spread of a invasive weed in Bayswater Brook.

The Amazon frogbit, a highly invasive aquatic weed that can impact river health and biodiversity, was first spotted in Bayswater Brook in late December.

Originating from Central and South America, the Amazon frogbit spreads rapidly via fragments that are readily detached from the parent plant.

Each plant fragment can produce multiple seed pods with each pod containing 20 to 30 seeds that are viable for at least three years.

It is sold in WA for use in aquariums, however when disposed of inappropriately the plant can cause widespread devastation by congesting drains, waterways and wetlands, displacing native vegetation and greatly impacting water quality.

DBCA drainage manager Kate Bushby said prevention, early detection and containment were key to managing the weed as it can double its biomass in a few days.

“The department is working with the City of Bayswater, South East Regional Centre for Urban Landcare and Water Corporation to remove the weed and search for the initial source along the drainage lines of Bayswater Brook,” she said.

“Booms have also been put in place to prevent further movement of the weed down the brook.”

Ms Bushby said the weed may have made its way downstream and upstream with tidal movement and could get a foothold in the right conditions.

“We have installed a barrier around the outlet of the basin in Browns Lake Reserve to contain what is currently believed to be the main source of frogbit into Bayswater Brook,” she said.

Since 2013, several infestations have been recorded across eastern and southern suburbs, however they were all found to be isolated incidents.

Anyone who sees this invasive weed should contact the department on 9278 0900 or email rivers.info@dbca.wa.gov.au.

For more information on the weed, visit www.riverguardians.com/news/news-media-releases.

MORE: Prison guard assaulted at Hakea Prison in Canning Vale

MORE: $27m carpark expansion at St John of God Subiaco Hospital approved

MORE: Swordfish off Port Coogee fascinates beachgoers