(Above – Didymo Dave – preaching the gospel)
DOC Media Release
Date: 3rd of April 2013
Kaimanawa backcountry still didymo free
Relief is awash after negative test results for didymo have come back from a sample of a recent algae bloom from the Ngaruroro River which lies within the Kaimanawa Forest Park and borders the Kaweka Forest Park. A sample was taken immediately for urgent testing following the suspected didymo report and photos from a concerned hunter.
The Ngaruroro River is a good example of New Zealand’s picturesque clean freshwater rivers and provides excellent fishing for anglers who seek the solitude of back country wilderness fishing. The Kaimanawa mountain ranges are the headwaters to the tributaries that flow into Lake Taupo making up the Taupo Fishery. Trampers and hunters who are crossing waterways need to be diligent with cleaning their tramping boots with the approved Check Clean Dry methods so as to prevent the spread of freshwater pests between rivers and lakes, and to protect our precious local fishery.
If you ever suspect didymo please take photos and report it immediately to the biosecurity hotline 0800809966. Better still, become a good conservationist and aquaint yourself with the easy cleaning steps to prevent the spread of freshwater pests at www.biosecurity.co.nz/cleaning
Didymo is an unwanted freshwater alga that has spread through the south island and up to the last test has not been detected in the north island. The Check Clean Dry method also prevents the spread of other freshwater pests such as Lagarosiphon or hornwort.
Kim Turia, Programme Manager Community Relations,
Department of Conservation Taupō-nui-ā-tia,
Ph (07) 384 7163 [email protected]
or Didymo Dave Ph 111 (Image above)
Update 30 May 2012
The Check Clean Dry team had a stand at the recent Hutchwilco Boat Stand. Myself, Callum Bourke who is an ex fishery ranger from Turangi and Hadlee Cade manned the stand for the 4 days of the Boat Show. The estimated attendance at this years show was approx 36,000 people. Most of the attendees were predominantly salt water fishermen but many of them spend some time in the Rotorua or Taupo Lakes area. Their level of understanding of the Check Clean Dry programme is not that high. We also spoke with many salt water fishermen who are freshwater duckshooters and were unaware of how easily they could spread freshwater weeds, 2 eel fishermen who were moving around all over the place and had no idea about cleaning their gear. The onsite aquarium had Koi Carp, Catfish, Goldfish and Gambusia in it and raised all sorts of questions about pest fish, gave us a great opportunity to explain the damage they do to freshwater ways and the potential threat to the fisheries of the Central North Island. We were able to explain how they or the eggs could be transferred and how adherence to the Check Clean Dry programme would stop that happening. Lots of work but a great result.
New research has countered theories that didymo can’t grow in North Island rivers.
The Cawthron Institute has successfully grown the alga in a range of river water from both islands at its laboratories in Nelson.
Didymo in the Waitaki River, seen through the viewfinder.
PHOTO: Radio NZ – Insight
Didymo has now been in New Zealand waterways for more than seven years, but is so far found only in the south where over 150 waterways are infected.
But there is no indication at present that it has crossed Cook Strait.
The New Zealand Institute of Economic Research estimates that didymo has cost $128 million in the past five years due to its negative effect on tourism, recreation and the environment.
New estimates predict a monetary impact of $211 – $855 million from now until 2020.
More on the didymo infestation can be heard on Insight on Sunday.
A guide to cleaning water related equipment to help slow the spread of freshwater pests.