Residents urged to be on look-out after invasive Frogbit weed found at Rossmore

Residents urged to be on look-out after invasive Frogbit weed found at Rossmore

Residents are urged to be on the lookout for an invasive weed spotted in Camden for the first time recently.

Camden Council wants locals to keep a close eye on their ponds, dams, lakes, rivers and creeks after Frogbit (Limnobium laevigatum) was discovered at a property in Rossmore.

Frogbit - also known as Amazon frogbit - is a floating freshwater plant that spread quickly from a tiny piece into a thick floating mat covering the whole water surface.

The weed can clog:

  • Clog waterways and make the water colder, darker and harder to reach for native plants and animals
  • Reduce the number of native plants, animals, fish and birds that can live on or near a waterway
  • Make it hard to use a waterway for fishing, swimming or boating
  • Hide the view of the water surface, creating danger by making the water look like firm ground

Camden mayor Theresa Fedeli said locals should alert the council as soon as they think Frogbit may be on their property.

"It is vital for our native plants and animals that we keep Frogbit out of our waterways," she said.

"Council confirmed the first sighting of Frogbit on a property in Rossmore recently and have acted quickly to treat the weed.

"Residents should contact us as quickly as possible on 4654 7777 if they fear they have Frogbit on their property, as early treatment can help the cause immensely."

The Department of Primary Industries warns residents not to attempt to treat or dispose of the plant themselves, but to call experts.

Frogbit has also been found in garden ponds and water features, aquariums, and drains and ponds close to public parks. It has smooth, round fleshy green leaves about four centimetres across. The top sides of the leaves are glossy green and the underside of each leaf looks and feels like a sponge.

It is a prohibited weed and must not be sold anywhere in NSW.

Frogbit, native to Central and South America, was first found in NSW at Green Point near Forster in 2017, the DPI reports.

It has since been found at Fairfield, Greystanes, Plumpton, Georges River, Prospect Creek and Bulahdelah.

The DPI said each known infestation was treated immediately.

They report illegal dumping of aquarium of pond plants in waterways as the main cause of Frogbit infestations in the state.

However, Frogbit can also appear after the plant's fruits split open and release seeds, which germinate underwater and float to the surface. The tiny seedlings are moved by water flow and wind, and can attach to birds or watercraft.

For more information on weeds, go to camden.nsw.gov.au and search 'Invasive and Priority Weeds' or visit the Department of Primary Industries' website.

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