The bat­tle with la­garosiphon

Central Otago Mirror - - FRONT PAGE - JO MCKEN­ZIE-MCLEAN

‘‘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.

❚ For full story see


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.

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