NOOSA Council is working hard to keep an algal bloom off its cash cow Main Beach during the school holidays and looming long weekend.
NOOSA Council is working hard to keep an algal bloom off its cash cow Main Beach during the school holidays and looming long weekend. Erle Levey

Noosa battles to keep algal bloom off Main Beach

NOOSA Council has equipment on its Main Beach each low tide to clear algal bloom that has swept down from Wide Bay with persistent northerly winds.

The non-toxic hincksia sordida is not a danger to health put in decay puts out an unpleasant smell that aside from ruining the beach experience of hundreds of holiday makers can waft up into the Hastings Street dining and shopping precinct.

Mayor Tony Wellington said the bloom was a consequence of the uncommonly hot and dry weather combined with northerly wind conditions that pushed it southward onto the north facing beach.

The council is working with the Hastings Street Association and Tourism Noosa to put fact sheets into local resorts explaining what the weed was and that it carried no associated health problems.

The last serious hincksia bloom to reach Noosa in 2007 led to the unsuccessful trial of netting anchored offshore in attempt to keep it off the beach.

A large bloom which swept around Double Island Point on Monday night was now 20km down the beach at Teewah with strong north, north westerly winds potentially pushing it onto Noosa Main Beach within 24 hours.

Teewah resident Lindsay Dines said there were now serious patches of weed along the beach and from Indian Head on Fraser Island.

Noosa Council Environment and Sustainable Development director Kim Rawlings said staff would continue to monitor the situation and remove algae from the beach as required.

"Algae is quite common in waterways and many species such as fish and crustaceans rely on algae as a food source. Clear water and warmer conditions can greatly accelerate marine algal growth,” she said.

However while naturally-occurring and non-toxic, she said the presence of hincksia could be visually unappealing and smell unpleasant as it decomposed.

Mr Dines said agricultural run off increased nutrient loads which when combined with higher water temperatures encouraged the growth of not just hincksia but also two other blooms.

He said anaulus australis which coloured the surf zone and de-oxygenated water was also visible north of Noosa while lyngbya masculata was present on the inside of Fraser Island and through Hervey Bay.

Mr Dines said Lyngbya masculata was toxic and killed everything including star fish and white half cockles which were dying in massive number.

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