Caulerpa: weeding out a noxious weed

The NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) is working closely with a range of stakeholders to control a noxious weed in Wallagoot Lake, on the NSW Far South Coast.
Caulerpa taxifolia (Caulerpa) is listed as a noxious species in NSW.

Jane Frances, NSW DPI Manager Aquatic Biosecurity & Risk Management, said “Caulerpa is a threat to our native marine environment, as it spreads quickly and can potentially impact native seagrasses and possibly reduce fish stocks,” Ms Frances said.

“To date, Caulerpa has been found in 14 estuaries and lakes in NSW. It was first discovered in Wallagoot Lake on the Far South Coast in 2007.”
Previous control work using salt application has resulted in some existing areas being reduced significantly in size.”

This week the NSW DPI has been heavily involved in a multi-agency effort to control Caulerpa, to minimise the spread of the aquatic pest to other parts of the Lake.

“It is important that people are aware of the presence of Caulerpa in Wallagoot Lake, and that if fragments are found on any fishing or boating gear, such as fishing rods or anchors, that they are removed and put in the bin.

“Caulerpa can easily become entangled in fishing and boating gear. To reduce the risk of the spread by fishing activities, a closure is in place over the existing Caulerpa beds,” Ms Frances said.


NSW DPI will return to Wallagoot Lake later this summer to conduct further monitoring, and discuss potential future options for the management of the weed.
NSW DPI Aquatic Biosecurity, Aquatic Ecosystems and Compliance staff worked alongside staff from Bournda Environmental Education Centre, the Southern Rivers Catchment Management Authority, NSW Department of Environment and Climate Change and the Bega Valley Shire Council.

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