Water hyacinth is a very attractive water plant but one of the world's most serious weeds. In tropical regions in Asia, Africa and America it constantly threatens to choke water ways making them inaccessible to commerce. Rafts of the weed seriously interfere with irrigation and fishing. It is a serious problem in the coastal rivers of Queensland and northern New South Wales. It has also proved that it can adapt to temperate inland lagoons and rivers in New South Wales, Western Australia and along the River Murray in South Australia.
The NSW Department records provide a description and images of water hyacinth.
The first serious infestation in South Australia was found covering the Ramco Lagoon on the edge of the Murray near Waikerie in October 1937. Plants had been thrown into the Lagoon from a nearby garden fish pond. This initiated an eradication program relying on hand removal from boats. (Herbicides and biological control were then not available)
The South Australian Government appealed for financial help from the Commonwealth and the River Murray Commission. They refused, so grants were made available by the South Australian Government to the local government councils involved.
While the New South Wales and Victorian authorities searched the Murray and its tributaries within their boundaries, the councils and the Agricultural Bureau began a well advertised campaign in South Australia.