Reminder to protect lakes while trout fishing
Today marks the first day of the new trout season.
The Bay of Plenty Regional Council is reminding keen trout fishers that if they’re joining the festivities at the Tarawera boat ramp today, to not forget to check, clean and dry gear every time when moving between waterways.
“Do your bit to protect the lakes and rivers that you love,” says a Bay of Plenty Regional Council spokesperson.
“All it takes is one tiny fragment of hornwort or a single catfish egg. If aquatic pests hitch a ride on your gear they can spread to previously unaffected waterways - choking our lakes and rivers, make them murky, and out-competing native wildlife.”
Rules for boat ramp users
The Bay of Plenty Regional Pest Management Plan 2020 – 2030 became operative on December 20 2020. As a result new rules now apply for all users of freshwater boat ramps in the region.
“We ask that you familiarise yourself with the rules and ensure that you comply with them when heading out on the water,” says a Bay of Plenty Regional Council spokesperson.
Bay of Plenty Regional Council Regional Pest Management Plan 2020 – 2030 Rule 7 states that:
- No person shall leave boat trailers in any water body other than for the purposes of launching and/or retrieving boats.
- No person shall transport ballast water from any water body to any other location.
- All occupiers of vessels or craft entering any water body within the Bay of Plenty shall ensure their vessels or craft (including trailers) are free from freshwater pest fish and freshwater pest plants including fragments.
- All occupiers of vessels or craft using a boat ramp with a self-certification checkpoint must complete the supplied certification form and display it in the vehicle used to launch the boat
Lakeside self-certification checkpoints have been set up at boat ramps around the Rotorua Te Arawa lakes. Biosecurity staff will be visiting boat ramps throughout summer to help lake users understand the rules and check that they are complying with them.
Full instructions on how to self-certify are at the boat ramps.
There is also an option to print out and complete the form if no forms are available at the boat ramp.
How to Check, Clean, Dry
If you’re moving between waterways you can help to reduce the spread of freshwater pests by using the 'Check, Clean, Dry' method:
- Check all equipment and your vessel and trailer and remove any weed fragments before leaving the boat ramp.
- Clean all equipment that has come in contact with the water using a decontamination solution* as soon as practical
- Drain all water by removing bungs or sponging out any lying water in your vessel when you exit the waterbody.
- Dry equipment thoroughly before using it another waterbody.
Do it between every waterway, every time.
Check your gear
Look for any bits and pieces of plants, fish eggs or even snails that might’ve hitched a ride.
Check any gear that has been in contact with the water including boats, jet skis, kayaks, lifejackets, ropes and paddles.
Remove any fragments and dispose of it in the rubbish.
Clean your gear
There's more than one option for cleaning your gear – choose the one that's best for your situation and your gear.
A decontamination solution is 5 per cent any common dishwashing liquid/ nappy cleaner so 500mls is diluted to 10 litres of water. Alternatively dilute 2 per cent household bleach. Make sure that you use a product that won’t damage your equipment.
Empty any ballast or bilge water you may be carrying or is lying in your vessel.
Dry your gear
If you’re moving to a new lake or waterway within the next 48 hours then make sure that you dry it in between. Do your bit and stop the spread.
For more options on how to go about cleaning your gear, visit the Ministry for Primary Industries website.