15 Nov 2022
NSW biosecurity specialists are this week running an eradication operation across close to 8000 hectares in Sydney to help rid the state of frogbit, an invasive, smothering waterweed which poses a serious threat to our environment.
NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) State Priority Weeds coordinator, Charles Mifsud, said in late August this year a call from a member of the public alerted Hawkesbury River County Council (HRCC) to a frogbit infestation at Oakville.
“Surveillance has revealed 21 infestations with tens of thousands of frogbit plants in the Oakville and Scheyville area. We plan to target around 620 residential properties and a significant part of Scheyville National Park,” Mr Mifsud said.
“These infestations could have been spread by floodwaters, wildlife or human activity.”
Frogbit, Limnobium laevigatum, is native to Central and South America and is Prohibited Matter in NSW.
Mr Mifsud said it is illegal to have, move or sell this plant in NSW and eradication of frogbit is a priority.
“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 and limits light, food and shelter for fish and aquatic animals,” he said.
“Frogbit can block waterways and irrigation channels, create dangerous conditions by hiding the water surface and making it appear like firm ground and can limit recreational activities such as fishing, swimming or boating.”
Frogbit has been detected in aquariums and backyard ponds and for sale in aquarium shops, at markets and online.
If you suspect a plant you see 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.
More information and photographs of frogbit are available on the NSW DPI website, https://weeds.dpi.nsw.gov.au/Weeds/Frogbit
Media contact: 02 6391 3686