Hyacinth weed in the Fitzroy January 2021
Hyacinth weed in the Fitzroy January 2021

SEA OF GREEN: Hyacinth clogs the Fitzroy River

Once again, the hyacinth blooms are washing down the Fitzroy River catchment, out to sea, as cyclonic conditions further north cause flooding.

Areas in western and northern parts of the catchment recorded significant rainfall and flooding in recent weeks due to a number of weather systems, including ex-TC Imogen.

Hyacinth is known to impede water flow, reduce fish habitat and block access to water for stock and wildlife.

It can also impact boaties in the region, and those out on the water should take extra care to ensure it doesn’t build up on their anchors or get tangled in propellers.

As hyacinth does not survive in salt water, the bloom travelling down the Fitzroy should not spread much further downstream.

Hyacinth weed in the Fitzroy January 2021
Hyacinth weed in the Fitzroy January 2021

While there is extra water flowing into the catchment due to recent rainfall, there are no flood warnings current for the Fitzroy River.

The Bureau of Meteorology advises that major flooding requires a large scale rainfall situation over the vast Fitzroy River catchment.

The following can be used as a rough guide to the likelihood of flooding in the catchment:

Average catchment rainfalls of in excess of 200mm in 48 hours may cause significant moderate to major flooding and traffic disabilities to develop, particularly in the middle to lower reaches of the Dawson River catchment downstream of Taroom, the Mackenzie River downstream of Tartrus and the Isaac River downstream of Connors Junction, and extending downstream to the Fitzroy River below Riverslea and finally Rockhampton.

Average catchment rainfalls of in excess of 300mm in 48 hours may cause significant major flooding and traffic disabilities to develop, particularly in the middle to lower reaches of the Dawson River catchment downstream of Taroom, the Mackenzie River downstream of Tartrus and the Isaac River downstream of Connors Junction, and extending downstream to the Fitzroy River below Riverslea and finally Rockhampton.