15 Dec 2020
A two-day, multi-agency operation has recently uncovered six new frogbit (Limnobium laevigatum) infestations in the Camden Council local government area following detection of the invasive, smothering waterweed at three Rossmore sites in October this year.
NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) State Priority Weeds coordinator, Nicola Dixon, said a total of nine infestations of the weed, which poses a serious threat to our environment, have now been found in Rossmore, Bringelly, Leppington and Catherine Field.
“Teams from NSW DPI, Greater Sydney Local Land Services (LLS), Hawkesbury River County, Camden, Liverpool, Campbelltown, Lane Cove, Strathfield, Illawarra and Wingecaribee Councils worked together to survey 438 properties,” Ms Dixon said.
“Surveillance is continuing in South Creek as we work with Camden Council and Greater Sydney LLS to eradicate all frogbit infestations from streams, dams, wetlands and water features.
“It’s likely an upstream frogbit infestation was flushed into the area during heavy summer rain events in early 2020 and we urge everyone to on the lookout for frogbit in local waterbodies.
“Frogbit, or Amazon frogbit, is native to Central and South America and it is illegal to have or move the plant in NSW as it poses a serious biosecurity risk and must not be kept or sold here.
“Illegally traded as a pond and aquarium plant, frogbit has spread into our waterways where it forms large dense mats, prevents native water plants from growing, reduces light, food and shelter for fish and other aquatic animals and can block waterways and irrigation channels.”
The first known incursion of frogbit in NSW waterways was found at Green Point in 2017 and infestations have since been detected in the Georges River, Prospect Creek, Fairfield, Smithfield, Greystanes, Plumpton, Bulahdelah, Cowra, Forster and Lismore.
All known infestations of frogbit in NSW have been treated to eradicate the devastating weed.
Ms Dixon said frogbit has been found in aquariums and backyard ponds 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,” she said.
More information and photographs of frogbit are available on the NSW DPI website.
Hi-res images available from firstname.lastname@example.org
Media contact: Bernadette York 0427 773 785