The battle with lagarosiphon
‘‘There isn’t enough tea in China to solve the problem with the current tools’’
There is not enough tea in China to solve a weed infestation in Otago’s lakes and rivers.
Land Information New Zealand and NIWA representatives made a presentation to the Otago Regional Council at its meeting on Tuesday about lagarosiphon, including current tools to tackle it, their goals and an action plan going forward.
Land Information New Zealand (LINZ) is the lead government agency and is responsible for the management of the bed of Lake Dunstan and associated weed and pest control programmes.
LINZ biosecurity portfolio manager David Mole said they would allocate an additional $50,000 of funding to tackle lagarosiphon in Lake Dunstan and propositioned the council to match that figure, as well as cochair a management group.
‘‘Ultimately, it is LINZ’s overarching responsibility for the programme so we will still maintain the lead in it.’’
Councillor Bryan Scott asked the group what their ultimate vision was for Otago and if it was to eradicate lagarosiphon over time from the region’s lakes.
‘‘Is that a possibility? If you had the funding could you do it?’’
Biosecurity project manager Marcus Girvan said while they were making ‘‘slow but steady progress’’ total eradication was not possible in the short to medium term.
‘‘There isn’t enough tea in China to solve the problem with the current tools. I wouldn’t rule it out that we can get on top of it in Otago ultimately but certainly not in the short to medium term...The goal is to remove all of the weed from the lake in Wanaka, ensure it doesn’t get into Lake Wakatipu and to control the infestation in the Kawarau River and suppress the weed in Lake Dunstan.’’
Councillor Trevor Kempton asked why more funding would be invested into Lake Dunstan, when they should be targeting the source of the problem at Lake Wanaka.
‘‘If you are going to invest more it has to have benefits beyond Lake Dunstan.’’
Niwa freshwater ecologist group manager aquatic plants Mary de Winton said there was benefit investing in Lake Dunstan because of possible transfer of lagarosiphon to Lake Wakatipu.
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Kids around Cromwell got their snow-fix when the first Antarctic blast of the year brought snow to the region. Lochie Cornish, 8, Sophie Hunter, 1 and Bella Cornish, 5, had fun in the snow at Te Oma Station, near Cromwell with dog Brier. According to the MetService, overnight temperatures will be zero or below for the next week, with rain forecast for Monday and Tuesday.