Interesting provocative questioning email to TRM:
Hi Team, How is it that in Lake Taupo DOC claim MPI (Ministry for Primary Industry) has the responsibility for removing catfish whilst in the South Island they help Fish & Game to net pest fish? Mixed messages or DOC in denial?
See your recent Q&A to DOC – 5 (Last Monday’s Daily Report)
Does it include a program to counteract the damage they do to native fish populations?
No. The Ministry for Primary Industry has the responsibility for managing invasive species such as catfish, and there are no plans to undertake control programs in the lake at this time.
The concerned TRM inmate was so annoyed he had even done his homework and provided the following articles from “Target Taupo” (TT) – which used to be the excellent magazine for DOC to regularly communicate with anglers to update on all issues affecting the Taupo fishery:
1 TT December 2009 Issue 60 Page 28, headed “There is More in Lake Taupo than Trout” by John Webb:
In their list of introduced fish (other than trout) are Catfish. Quote” Catfish were first reported in Lake Taupo in 1985 and are now in stable numbers. Considered to be a pest fish, they inhabit quietly flowing weedy environments around sandy bottoms or lagoons…..” and goes on to say “DOC monitors catfish populations in Lake Taupo on a regular basis.Extensive research has also been done on their diet and spread dynamics.”
“This summer marked the 12th consecutive year of monitoring catfish in Lake Taupo.” and goes on for 3 pages to summarise the data to compare it to previous years to identify any trends – “almost 2,200 caught from 75 nets = 29.3 catfish per night per net.”.
3 TT August 2006 Issue 52 Page 44 – 47 “Hotspots for summer catfish” by Mark Venman:
“During summer 2005/06 we completed our tenth consecutive summer of monitoring catfish in Lake Taupo…. a total of 1693 were caught etc.”
4 TT March 2001 Issue 36 Pages 35-36. “Catfish numbers Appear Stable” by Rob Hood.
5 TT July 2000 Issue 34 Page 29 “Catfish Study Update”
“The acoustic tracking study of catfish in Lake Taupo is now completed. A total of more than 60,000 data records…. recorded from November 1998 to December 1999.”
Readers can decide for themselves if the articles above are indicative of DOC’s management role or not? The angler asked “How after many years of monitoring etc. how can they now suddenly claim: “The Ministry for Primary Industry has the responsibility for managing invasive species such as catfish”?
Meanwhile Fish and Game West Coast added 2 new photos.
DOC staff members were working well into the night last week as part of their pest fish netting control of Rudd in Lake Ianthe. Both minnow traps and nets were used. They put their nets out after dark to avoid capturing birds, and then worked their way back around checking the nets in the night to release any non-target fish such as trout. I went down to see how they were getting on and help where I could. I was impressed with the effort they were putting in, working until 3am. The night I was there they would have removed ~30 Rudd averaging 180mm. Good work guys!