Today LDCT and some local stakeholders met with the owner of Lakeweed Harvesters & Contractors to access the feasibility of putting a weed harvester on Lake Dunstan permanently to combat the issue of Lagarosiphon.
Today we met with Howard Emery the managing director of Lakeweed Harvesters & Contractors from Taupo to access the feasibility of putting a weed harvester on Lake Dunstan.
Lagarosiphon has saturated Lake Dunstan with 1/5th of the 500ha lake covered in the weed; 139ha of that being recreational space. Currently, LINZ and NIWA undertake annual weed management in the area using methods such as spraying and hand cutting by divers. As we have seen in recent years, this has not reduced density of the weeds or improved the safety of those who use the lake.
This company currently operates on multiple lakes in the N.Island such as Lake Taupo and Rotoehu where they annually remove thousands of tonnes of weed. All who attended the meeting were impressed with the efficiency of weed harvesters and its instant results on the visual and recreational amenities of an area cleared.
The meeting highlighted that the next step is to access the threat of fragments cut from Lake Dunstan passing through the Clyde Dam. We have contacted LINZ and Contact Energy to research this potential issue so that we can make a decision on whether a weed harvester is a great idea for Cromwell or will cause ecosystem destruction downstream.
Containment of Lagarosiphon is incredibly important to reduce the risk of it getting into more waterways. A 10cm fragment can regrow to 2 metres in as little as 100 days meaning it would quickly plague waterways downstream of the Clyde Dam. Weed harvesters cut the top layer of weeds from the lake to then be collected and dumped. However fragments can float downstream and potentially pass through the Clyde Dam where is it currently contained.
Lakeweed Harvesters & Contractors - Managing director Howard Emery
Cromwell Mayor Tim Cadogan
ORC councillor Gary Kelliher
Radio Central Owner Shane Norton
To visit the website of Lakeweed Harvesters & Contractors for more information, click below.