Weed out imposters

• Frogbit weed. Photo supplied

AN obnoxious weed with a cute name is invading Perth waterways.

Recently spotted in Bayswater Brook in late December, Amazon frogbit rapidly spreads by jettisoning little fragments stuffed with pods, laden with dozens of seeds that can germinate up to three years later.

The Central and South American weed can double its biomass in just a few days and is sold in WA for aquariums, but when numpties dump their old aquarium water into waterways it can cause “widespread devastation”—blocking drains, waterways and wetlands, choking out the native vegetation and reducing water quality, according to the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions.

DBCA drainage manager Kate Bushby said early detection and containment is crucial to managing the weed as it spreads so fast.

The department is working with Bayswater council, Water Corp and SERCUL to remove the weed and search for the initial source along drainage lines at Bayswater Brook.

The Brook catchment area covers a large chunk of Bayswater and the surrounding suburbs, and then flows out through the Swan River via the waterway that runs past Eric Singleton Bird Sanctuary.

The DBCA has also put booms out to try to catch the weed’s seeds from getting any further down the brook.

Since 2013 there’s been a few infestations of frogbit around Perth’s eastern and southern suburbs, but thankfully those were isolated instances and it hasn’t been able to properly infest the river.

If you see any frogbit around, email the DBCA at rivers.info@dbca.wa.gov.au, or call them on 9278 0900.

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