Thames Anglers' Conservancy Members Forum
TAC Members-Only Forum
If you have arrived here and not yet signed up as a member, then please first join at using your real name.

Forum Membership is with Real Names only.
Please create a Username that is your First Name and Surname eg. "Joe Bloggs"
(This will save our Admin team the need to contact you about changing it)

Thames Anglers' Conservancy Members Forum
HomeHome  TAC Home PageTAC Home Page  SearchSearch  FAQFAQ  RegisterRegister  Log in  

Display results as :
Rechercher Advanced Search
Latest topics
» Hampton Riviera removed
Thu Aug 16, 2018 10:41 pm by Ed Randall

» Roads closed everywhere ~ July 29th/30th ~ bike race
Mon Aug 06, 2018 10:14 am by John LeSurf

» *Thames Tunnel (Tideway Tunnel)*
Wed Jul 18, 2018 9:56 am by John LeSurf

» new hotel at hampton court means loss of fishing
Wed Jul 04, 2018 1:26 pm by Ed Randall

» Eel Trap Clean Up/ training 5th May 2018 10am
Sat Jun 09, 2018 3:46 pm by Ed Randall

» FORCE clean-up in Donkey Wood ~ Sun 13th May 2018
Thu May 17, 2018 10:16 am by JeffHowe

Thu Apr 05, 2018 2:23 pm by John LeSurf

» penton hook tidy up.
Wed Mar 07, 2018 7:05 am by John LeSurf

» Riverfly & Clean-up Donkey Woods Saturday 18th Nov 2017
Sat Dec 23, 2017 1:02 pm by Ed Randall

» Biggest fish of all book
Fri Dec 22, 2017 5:43 pm by Adrian Hoare

» Wandle Trust - eel pass installation - call for volunteers
Thu Dec 07, 2017 8:53 am by Ed Randall

» Outfall Safari across London - call for Volunteers!
Thu Dec 07, 2017 8:47 am by Ed Randall

» Fishing the Thames at Medley
Thu Nov 02, 2017 2:33 pm by Trevor Rowe

» Thames Semi-Tidal Draw Off 2017
Fri Oct 20, 2017 9:08 pm by Ed Randall

» Eel Trap Results 2017
Tue Oct 17, 2017 6:07 pm by patrick barker

» Fish-swallowing Angler "lucky to be alive"
Sat Oct 14, 2017 8:01 am by Ed Randall

» River Mole polluted at Horley
Fri Oct 13, 2017 8:52 am by Ed Randall

» Petition to stop the export of elvers
Thu Sep 21, 2017 2:16 pm by Ed Randall

» Riverfly Training ~ Hogsmill ~ 30th Sept 2017
Sat Sep 16, 2017 6:56 am by Ed Randall

» Monster fatberg in Whitechapel
Tue Sep 12, 2017 1:40 pm by Ed Randall

» Radio 4 ~ Macquarie: The Tale of the River Bank
Tue Sep 12, 2017 12:28 pm by Ed Randall

» Thames TideFest 10th September 2017
Tue Sep 12, 2017 9:00 am by John LeSurf

» Invitation to the 2017 Eel Forum ~ 17th October
Sat Sep 09, 2017 8:32 am by Ed Randall

» Do you recognise any of these men?
Sat Aug 19, 2017 8:44 pm by Ed Randall

» Better access to free Thames fishing in Reading
Fri Jun 16, 2017 10:08 am by Ed Randall

» Eel screens on Water Works intakes
Tue May 23, 2017 10:26 pm by Julian Jones

» River Thames Conditions - Quick Dial Numbers
Sun May 21, 2017 10:00 am by Ed Randall

» Ap[ril showers? If only! Drought beckons...
Thu May 04, 2017 6:56 pm by Ed Randall

» Abbey river this Saturday (12/5/2012)
Thu Apr 27, 2017 4:41 pm by Ed Randall

» Molesey Eel Monitoring Training ~ 29th April 2017
Mon Apr 24, 2017 11:12 am by David Harvey

Angling Data View
River Levels
UK Map

Thames Tides

Share | 

 Voracious weed-eating Weevils invited to free lunch

Go down 

Posts : 489
Join date : 2009-12-27

PostSubject: Voracious weed-eating Weevils invited to free lunch   Mon Oct 03, 2011 6:37 pm


The Environment Agency has called upon an unusual ally in its fight to control a very troublesome water weed. A colony of tiny weevils, with big teeth and a taste for a specific plant, has been drafted in to control the problematic Azolla weed.

Stenopelmus rufinasus, commonly known as the Azolla Weevil, feeds exclusively off the Water fern, Azolla filiculoides. Now the Environment Agency has released a colony of the helpful beetles to seek and destroy a huge mossy slick of the weed in Lincolnshire. The beetle eliminates the need to use chemicals or dredging, which can harm other wildlife.

Azolla, also known as the water or fairy fern, started to pose a problem on the River Till, a tributary of the River Witham, earlier this year.

Environment Agency officers cleared the weed in June. But, over the last few months the ultra fast-growing plant, which can double in size every four to five days, has bounced back, spread downstream and invaded the Witham itself.

Blanket of weed
The blanket of weed now stretches for an incredible four kilometres (2.5 miles), is 15-metres wide and up to 30 centimetres thick. Invasive species now cost the UK economy an estimated £1.7billion every year.

They cause damage to riverbanks and buildings, increase flood risk, crowd out and kill off native wildlife and become so prolific on waterways that fishermen, boaters and anglers are unable to use them.

Despite water quality improving, the presence of invasive species like Azolla could cause rivers in the UK to fail tough new targets on water quality.

Improving water quality
The Environment Agency currently spends over £2million a year controlling invasive species, and is this year increasing its efforts with partners such as Natural England by targeting some of the £18m funding provided by Defra to help more English rivers meet the new EU targets.

Like many other invasive plants, water fern was first introduced to the UK as an ornamental exotic from the Americas in the 1800s. But it soon escaped from garden ponds into the wild and in the absence of any native predators, quickly invaded rivers, lakes and canals.

The fern forms dense mats on the surface of the water, depriving other plants, fish and invertebrates below the water level of light and oxygen.
As well as creating ‘death zones’ for aquatic wildlife, the mossy carpets can pose a flood risk as the weed clogs the watercourse. It also makes sports such as boating, canoeing and fishing impossible.

The Azolla Weevil, which also hails from the Americas, arrived in the UK by chance in the early 1920s, probably hitching a ride on imported plants. Unlike the fern, the weevil survives in low numbers in the wild without posing a threat to native species.

It has been used with great success to clear clogged waterways in South Africa. Today, the weevils are bred in Britain by CABI, a not-for-profit science organisation, specifically to clear UK waterways.

Environment Agency invasive species expert Trevor Renals, said: “The weevils are real specialists and only eat water fern. They don’t harm other plants and often die out naturally once they have eaten their way through the Azolla. Thanks to this weevil, we are able to eradicate the weed without the need for dredging and chemicals.”

CABI invasive species specialist Corin Pratt, said: “Releasing captive-bred weevils means we can help landowners to control a problematic invasive weed in a natural way. It is cheap, safe and remarkably effective.”

Help from homeowners
Homeowners can do their bit to help prevent the spread of invasive species like Azolla by not dumping aquatic plants in the wild and always disposing of old plants and pond material responsibly, by composting or using a green waste bin.

The ‘BePlantwise’ campaign has more information on stopping the spread of invasive species.

Back to top Go down
David Harvey


Male Posts : 5381
Join date : 2010-01-21
Age : 103
Location : Surrey,

PostSubject: Re: Voracious weed-eating Weevils invited to free lunch   Mon Oct 03, 2011 6:38 pm

Big teeth, scary Shocked
Back to top Go down
Voracious weed-eating Weevils invited to free lunch
Back to top 
Page 1 of 1
 Similar topics
» Lads are armed and very serious.....from rossendale free press 2005
» FREE Excel Basketball Statistics Workbook
» View SXS magazine for free online.......
» Free Fishing & Hunting Magazines

Permissions in this forum:You cannot reply to topics in this forum
Thames Anglers' Conservancy Members Forum :: Open Section :: Conservation Issues-
Jump to: