- Monday 01 September 2014
Sunshine Coast Council will put the bite on midges and again close Currimundi Lake this week in an effort to tackle the excessive larval levels expected to explode in the coming months.
Almost two weeks ago (August 20), council closed off the entrance to keep the lake constantly full and drown the larvae, knowing it was the optimum time between breeding and hatching.
However the development of an east coast low and heavier than predicted rainfall the following weekend meant the council had to reopen the lake’s entrance.
Divisional councillor Peter Cox said the council had a small window of opportunity to close the lake and combat the midges during the larvae stage.
“The predicted fine weather gives us another chance to prevent the spring hatch of adult larvae and reduce their populations in the coming months, so machinery will be on site again tomorrow (Sep 2) to stockpile sand,” Cr Cox said.
“We are hoping to close the lake on Wednesday or Thursday, however the final timings will depend on how long it takes to accumulate enough sand.
“Some sand was lost when we reopened the lake and there may not be enough high quality, clean sand at the site.
“So beach-goers may see the use of darker sand which contains increased silt and marine deposits naturally found in this intertidal zone, but we reassure the community that the visual effects of this will be short lived.
“All going to plan, council will keep the water at the lake at its high tide level for six weeks to interrupt the midge larval hatching cycle, drown larvae and reduce midge numbers by about 95%.
“Council will also monitor the lake’s water quality to ensure safe swimming conditions for all users.”
Cr Cox said council had been monitoring midges at Currimundi Lake since 2008.
“Recently we’ve noticed a higher than usual increase in larvae and a wider distribution across the lake,” Cr Cox said.
“Our monitoring predicts a significant hatch of adult biting midge in spring, something that we haven’t seen for more than a few years and as residents haven’t experienced good numbers of adult midge for a while, their level of tolerance will be very low.
“We are committed to protecting our enviable lifestyle and maintaining safe and healthy communities—but as always, Mother Nature will have the last word.”