Fight to keep weed out of Wakatipu

Central Otago Mirror - - YOUR PAPER, YOUR PLACE - DEB­BIE JAMIESON

A new group has been formed to keep the in­va­sive weed la­garosiphon out of Lake Wakatipu as it spreads up the Kawa­rau River.

Land In­for­ma­tion NZ biose­cu­rity man­ager Dave Mole said the weed had been in the up­per Kawa­rau River since 2008 but had slowly taken over a larger area and was now at the Kawa­rau Falls Bridge, near Frank­ton.

‘‘We’re tak­ing ac­tion on that be­cause the risk is get­ting in­cred­i­bly high. We need to con­trol it,’’ he said.

‘‘If we let the weed creep into the lake it will es­tab­lish quickly, hav­ing an eco­nomic im­pact and threat­en­ing recre­ational ac­tiv­i­ties such as fish­ing, swim­ming, wa­ter-ski­ing and jet-boat­ing.’’

Con­trol work was al­ready un­der­way to mit­i­gate the risk of weed trans­fer from the in­fes­ta­tion in the Kawa­rau River.

How­ever, LINZ had de­vel­oped a for­mal weed management group with lo­cal coun­cils and pri­vate op­er­a­tors to keep Lake Wakatipu free of the weed, he said.

There would also be a pub­lic aware­ness pro­gramme run to hope­fully stop the trans­fer of la­garosiphon from other wa­ter bod­ies.

Ha­zlett re­union cu­ra­tor Ro­man Lee-Lo with Cen­tral Otago Mayor Tim Cado­gan after the gift­ing of a park bench.

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