The 2017 summer inspection program targeting Alligator weed and Honey Locust in the Peel and Namoi Rivers has been completed by local Councils across the North West and New England.
The program took around two weeks to complete and covered an area from Sandy Creek near Somerton to Narrabri township. The project is an important step in the containment of the world’s worst aquatic plant, Alligator weed.
Inspections in the Namoi commenced slightly later than usual due to high water levels following good rainfall and significant water releases from Keepit Dam. High rainfall prior to the program, coupled with one of the hottest summers on record produced the perfect environment for Alligator weed.
The program funded by the Northwest Local Lands Service now in its sixth year, located in excess of twenty infestations of Alligator weed in the Namoi River from the Peel River junction to Gunnedah.
“Although the infestations were relatively small and in close proximity to existing sites, a couple of larger plants outside those sites caused us some concern,” Gunnedah Shire Council’s Senior Weeds Officer Lee Amidy said.
“It’s not surprising given the season we’ve just experienced, that these plants were a little more advanced than in previous years” he added.
All infestations in the Peel and Namoi Rivers have since been removed manually or treated with chemical. The sites will be continually monitored for regrowth.
“The program also provided us with an opportunity to assess the extent of regrowth of Honey Locust trees along both rivers following three separate treatment programs over the last ten years” Mr. Amidy said.
The results from control programs targeting this thorny invasive tree were described as extremely encouraging, with local weeds officers agreeing that the platform had been set for the containment and eventual eradication of Honey locust in the Namoi River.
Education and awareness programs have been conducted over the last three weeks with displays of Alligator weed along with other aquatic pest being presented at fishing competitions at Carroll and Lake Keepit as well as local agricultural shows.
“It is important to arm those who use our rivers and dams with the skills to identify weeds such as Alligator weed, so they can assist us in keeping an eye out for invasive aquatic weeds that could threaten the health of our waterways” Mr Amidy concluded.
Information on all aquatic and other invasive weeds is available from your local Council Weeds Officers, Local Lands Services or New South Wales Department of Primary Industries.
Media Contact: Eliza Gallen 6740 2100.