Another Day at the Office #18

Cleaning Up our Waterways

At Regen Australia we love nothing better than cleaning up an ecological nightmare and leaving a site in great condition ready for our native plants and animals to thrive.
Recently our teams were asked to control an aquatic weed outbreak (Salvinia molesta) on a property at Calamvale in Brisbane’s southwest.

The Problem

Salvinia molesta is a free-floating aquatic fern from Brazil. Under optimal conditions, it reproduces extremely quickly and can double in volume every 2-3 days, forming thick mats that can completely cover water bodies.

Salvinia is a restricted invasive plant under the Biosecurity Act 2014 meaning it must not be given away, sold, or released into the environment without a permit.
Sadly for our native plants and animals it is all too often found in our dams and waterways and it is now classified as ‘established’ in Queensland.

The Solution

Before undertaking any aquatic weed treatment, it is important to take stock of the ecology of the weed and the relationship of the weed to the ecology of the site. Regen Australia has been involved in treating aquatic weeds for over two decades and has a proven track record in producing great results.
Generally in treating salvinia we have three options:
1. Herbicide Treatment -there are a range of chemicals registered for use on Salvinia
2. Mechanical Removal – physically removing all the weed from the waterway
3. Biological Control -The salvinia weevil Cyrtobagous salviniae can give good biological control when air temperatures are 27-35˚C

On this site a combination of mechanical removal and herbicide treatment was used. The bulk of the salvinia was removed from the waterway using our boat, floating booms and scoops, then minimal spot spraying took care of the rest. The whole primary treamtent process was completed in two days leaving a clean and clear waterbody.

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