There are no major aquatic weeds such as Lagarosiphon or Egeria in Lake Brunner at present and a group of people representing the Lake Brunner Project have embarked on a campaign to keep it that way.
The group comprise local people from the Lake Brunner Community Association and representatives from the Grey District Council, the West Coast Regional Council and the Department of Conservation.
As many of the users of Lake Brunner are from away, the campaigners chose Canterbury Show weekend to talk to Moana based bach owners and boaties about keeping Lake Brunner weed-free. This was done via a door-knock around the town and by talking to lake users at the Moana boat-ramp.
While there are many groups working toward the Lake Brunner Project’s overall aim of maintaining the present high water quality in the lake, including local farmers, the Lake Brunner Community Association, both the Grey District and the West Coast Regional Councils, NIWA and NZ Landcare Trust), the specific aim of the two day aquatic weed campaign was to educate both local people and visitors about keeping invasive oxygen weeds such as Lagarosiphon and Egeria out of the lake. Any invasion by either of these will markedly detract from the present water quality, particularly for recreational activities.
The lake already has infestations of Elodea (Canadian Pondweed) but this is much less of a problem than either Lagarosiphon or Egeria which are already present in some waterways on the West Coast, e.g. the Cobden Lagoon.
Lake Brunner can be kept free of Lagarosiphon and Egeria by washing down thoroughly all boats – powerboats, yachts, canoes, kayaks – which have been used in other lakes BEFORE taking them to Lake Brunner. The boat-ramps at Moana and Iveagh Bay are not the place for doing this.
Lake Brunner can also be kept free of Lagarosiphon and Egeria by lake users becoming educated about unwanted aquatic species. The cost to lake users and ratepayers, should we get these invasive weeds in our lake will be high. Much time and money is spent for instance in the Otago region, trying to reduce the infestations in Lake Wanaka and now Lake Benmore.
The DOC display at the Lake Brunner School Gala was one way people got a chance to see clearly the difference between the unwanted weeds and others, both native and exotic, which do not detract from the lake’s water quality. For those who missed the display and who would like to know more please call either DOC on 03 768 0427 or the West Coast Regional Council on 0508 800 118. Any concerns about new patches of weed in Lake Brunner should also be reported promptly to either of these two agencies.