Seqwater Biosecurity Officer Jessica Doman said drones were becoming an invaluable tool in monitoring and managing aquatic weeds in South East Queensland’s dams and waterways.
“Some of our catchments are prone to outbreaks of aquatic weeds, such as Water Hyacinth, Salvinia and Cabomba,” Ms Doman said.
“Unless properly managed, weeds pose a significant threat to water quality and can deteriorate catchment health.
“We are using drones as part of an integrated weed management strategy, which includes a range of control methods such as mechanical removal, shoreline spraying and using biological agents like weevil larvae that specifically feeds on weed species.”
Ms Doman said the RMax was capable of carrying a sixteen-litre payload of herbicide each flight for targeted weed spraying in difficult-to-access areas.
“In some areas, it can be difficult to get a boat out on the water or spray weeds from the shoreline, so we’ve needed to explore other options like drones for treatment,” Ms Doman said.
“Seqwater manages more than 73,500 hectares of catchment land, so it’s important to look at new, innovative ways to improve our ability to treat both aquatic and terrestrial weeds across such a large area.”