Weed choking Baldwin Swamp
SUSAN Krebs enjoys taking a walk to Baldwin Swamp Environmental Park with her partner in their free time.
Lately, Mrs Krebs has noticed a dramatic change to her surroundings which has left the South Bundaberg resident concerned.
"There is weed totally covering the pond and now there are hardly any ducks or lilies in the water," she said.
Mrs Krebs said she noticed the pond was looking healthier when the council introduced a weevil-breeding program to the area to help combat salvinia weed, but the problem had since become worse.
"It was starting to look really good but after the recent rain, the weed has just been out of control," she said.
"Visually, it doesn't look good at all. I feel sorry for the poor ducks who now have nowhere to swim because the weed clogs up the entire area."
Bundaberg Regional Council environment and natural resources spokesman Danny Rowleson said salvinia molesta was an extremely invasive aquatic weed.
"In addition to degrading water quality and destroying wildlife habitats, salvinia can reduce water flow to irrigation equipment, increasing pumping times and costs and prevent access by stock to drinking water," Cr Rowleson said.
Council land protection staff have been working on a weevil-breeding program to help control infestations throughout the region.
"Bio-control is a cost-effective, efficient and long-term weed control measure," Cr Rowleson said.
"Our goal is to ensure weevil populations in areas like Baldwin Swamp become as self-sustainable as possible, but no one type of control method will work alone," he said.
"(The) council also recently employed a weed harvester to mechanically remove a large portion of salvinia from the upstream lagoons in Baldwin Swamp."
Cr Rowleson said herbicides and chemical control only used as a last resort.
"These measures can be expensive, time consuming, and often require constant application," he said.
"We prefer not to spray around the swamp as (the) council has a strong focus on enhancing the biodiversity of flora around the waterways and chemical sprays could jeopardise that."