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Turning a negative into a positive: Aquatic weed harvesting Lake Rotoehu

The submerged aquatic weed hornwort (Ceratophyllum demersum) has become widespread through Lake Rotoehu since its establishment in the lake around 2000. This exotic pest plant is surface reaching in large parts of this shallow lake making it a perfect candidate for mechanical harvesting. As part of the Te Arawa - Rotorua Lakes Programme the Lake Rotoehu Action Plan sets out nutrient reduction targets for nitrogen and phosphorus. Realising these targets is integral if lake water quality is to be restored to the trophic level index (TLI) target for Lake Rotoehu. Restoration measures have included land use management efforts to arrest nutrient inputs, phosphorus locking through alum dosing, floating wetlands, and most recently the deployment of two aerators. To date the most successful in-lake nutrient reduction method has been mechanical harvest of hornwort. Aquatic weed harvesting has resulted in reaching a significant portion of the annual nutrient target for the lake catchment. Attaining this level of nutrient removal has manifested in tangible water quality gains in the past few years. Most noticeable is the reduction in cyanobacterial (blue-green) algal blooms which had been prevalent in the lake in summer months. We discuss the practicalities and problems of submerged lake weed harvesting, disposal options, and impacts of this activity on the lake.
Conference Contribution
Type of thesis
Proceedings of LakesWater Quality Society 2015
LakesWater Quality Society
© 2015 LakesWater Quality Society.