Invasive aquatic plant species can be easily transported between waterways on watercraft, equipment and clothing. The spread of aquatic weeds can heavily impact the environment and all that enjoy it in many ways. A thick cover of aquatic weeds can limit waterskiing, fishing, paddling and swimming activities. Weeds disrupt natural systems through flow on effects changing species composition as well as disrupting natural processes such as fish migration and reproduction. Weed control, including aquatic weeds, costs the Queensland agricultural industry an estimated $600 million a year. The reduction in weeds and weed spread is of great value to us all.
To prevent aquatic weed spread care must be taken to clean any equipment that is used in a waterway, particularly before storage or moving to another waterway.
It is important to wash ALL equipment thoroughly and then dry it. Invasive material may still survive for months in the wet hull of a boat only to be released into a different waterway upon next use; therefore DRYING is a vital step in the cleaning process.
Remove any visible plant material from your watercraft or equipment and discard it back into the waterway or in a general rubbish bin. Thoroughly wash your watercraft and equipment with fresh tap water, inside and out. Do this step over grass or at a purpose built wash down station to avoid washing material into stormwater drains.
Ensure your watercraft and equipment are completely dry, inside and out, before moving to another waterway. This can take a period of weeks in cold, damp places so make sure to check before transporting.