Council breeding 'ferocious eater' to kill invasive plant

The hyacinth plant which covers the lake is showing signs of depletion with its yellow leaves.
The hyacinth plant which covers the lake is showing signs of depletion with its yellow leaves. Neil Fisher

INVASIVE water plants are being eradicated in Rockhampton thanks to a little creature introduced into the region's waterways.

The water hyacinth, also known as the 'world's worst water weed', became a problem around O'Shanesy Park and also Yeppen Lagoon.

Rockhampton Regional councillor Neil Fisher said instead of spraying the weeds, a biological solution has been created to vigorously eat the plants.

"The hyacinth weevil is a natural way to eradicate the weed and they're starting to show that progress in O'Shanecy Park," he said.

"It's quite a busy little fellow and destroys the foliage of the plants but is not attracted to any other species."

Cr Fisher said the invasive plant, introduced from South America, is detrimental to animal life and starves water of sunlight.

He said the weevil was a chemical-free way of controlling the weed and was a fraction of the cost.

Cr Fisher credited Capricorn Pest Management Group for it's work on the project and creativity.

"If we can pioneer biological control we can save enormous amounts of money," he said.

"It has definitely taken more time and effort than other solutions, but considerably less money from the tax payer."

Cr Fisher said he was already impressed with the outcome from the weevils, which could eradicate the weeds in just a few months.

"They are ferocious eaters, it's a real success story," he said.

Rockhampton Regional Council have a nursery where they currently breed the weevils with Cr Fisher saying it was an innovation for chemical-free eradication of pests.

"It's a new frontier and I'm so excited to be a part of it," he said.

Topics:  editors picks hyacinth neil fisher yeppen lagoon

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