A delimiting survey to establish the boundaries of Alligator weed identified at Lake Whatumā (Lake Hatuma) in Central Hawke’s Bay last month has been completed.
The results of the survey indicate that Alligator weed hasn’t spread too widely at this stage, although where it has been found, it has taken a strong hold.
Iain Maxwell, Hawke’s Bay Regional Council Integrated Catchment Management Group Manager says, “the main outbreak is on the northern and eastern edges of the lake, where it has really established itself, however unfortunately we also found it at the head of the Mangatarata stream”.
With this weekend being the opening of duck shooting season, property owners and the Regional Council are concerned that duck shooters may inadvertently spread the weed through contact with boats, duck decoys, vehicles or even boots.
Maxwell urges anyone who uses the lake or lake surrounds “to please check, clean and dry all equipment and leave any plant material at the site”.
The Regional Council’s biosecurity team are putting up additional signage on maimais and duckhides as well as the lake surrounds and entrances. Investigation is underway in relation to an aquatic weed boom for the Mangatarata stream.
Alligator weed is a severe threat to agriculture and biodiversity and spreads very easily from the smallest piece of vegetation. Care is needed.
Property owners have been informed and are being asked not to try and tackle the weed themselves as it spreads so easily and instead to contact the Regional Council who will confirm identification and assist with a management plan.
The delimiting survey involved an extensive search of the surrounds of Lake Whatumā, as well as its outlets and inlets.
Alligator weed sightings should be reported to the Regional Council via email email@example.com or call 0800 108 838.
Director Communications and Engagement Mike Johansson | 027 263 5986
2 May 2023
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