Double trouble for lake weeds

Last updated 12:00 20/06/2014

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A long-awaited washdown facility for boats using Lake Horowhenua is under construction.

One of the first visible developments under the Lake Horowhenua Accord, a five-party agreement to clean up the waterway, the washdown facility will allow people taking boats on the lake to wash them before and after entering the water. It is located on Queen St about 100 metres from Muaupoko Domain.

The aim is to prevent the transfer of aquatic weeds between waterways.

Horizons Regional Council, one of the five accord partners, has also purchased a monitoring boat for exclusive use at Lake Horowhenua, a move that will further prevent the spread of weeds.

Horizons freshwater and science manager Dr Jon Roygard said that, as an organisation tasked with preserving and enhancing the region's natural environment, Horizons took the prospect of weed entering the lake seriously.

"Excessive lake weed has been identified as one of the key issues for the lake - that's why it's great to see this work get under way.

"Up until this point we have been using another boat to carry out monitoring at Lake Horowhenua which has been cleaned in accordance with strict protocol before and after use.

However, this new boat will only be used at the lake, restricting the possibility of weed transfer even further," he said.

"It's also really important that people check, clean and dry their gear between waterways.

"These simple steps can make a world of difference and the new washdown facility will be a major help."

A survey of lake weed carried out earlier in 2014 found a type of oxygen weed known as elodea canadensis to be the most prevalent, with weed covering about 48 hectares of the approximately 300ha lake.

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- Manawatu Standard

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