An­glers urged to look af­ter lake en­vi­ron­ment

Rotorua Daily Post - - OUR PEOPLE -

The open­ing of the fish­ing sea­son has lo­cal en­vi­ron­men­tal au­thor­i­ties urg­ing an­glers to look af­ter the en­vi­ron­ment.

This in­cludes not light­ing fires on pub­lic con­ser­va­tion land, re­port­ing sight­ings of aquatic pests and camp­ing only at des­ig­nated ar­eas.

De­part­ment of Con­ser­va­tion staff spent yesterday morn­ing at Lakes Tarawera, Ro­toiti and Okataina, mak­ing sure signs show­ing an­glers where they could camp overnight were in­tact.

De­part­ment of Con­ser­va­tion bio­di­ver­sity ranger Mau­rice Wilke said it was es­pe­cially im­por­tant the pub­lic knew the ar­eas they could camp around the lakes to lessen the im­pact on the en­vi­ron­ment.

Wilke ex­pected to see many boats out on the lakes on Mon­day.

“Have a good time out there but re­mem­ber your ac­tions can lead to a neg­a­tive im­pact on oth­ers.” dis­cov­ered in 2016.

Since the find, the re­gional coun­cil and Te Arawa Lakes Trust had worked to keep the num­ber of cat­fish down and to stop the spread.

The re­gional coun­cil’s biose­cu­rity team leader Shane Grayling said cat­fish were a “nasty in­va­sive pest” that not only fed on na­tive fish, trout and trout eggs but were also a “se­ri­ous threat” to the taonga species, koura.

“They also lower wa­ter qual­ity by churn­ing up mud while feed­ing,” Grayling said.

Any­one vis­it­ing Ro­torua lakes was re­minded to al­ways check their boat, trailer and gear for weeds be­fore leav­ing a wa­ter­way as cat­fish or their eggs would of­ten hide among the weed frag­ments.

Cat­fish would also hide in trail­ers so peo­ple were urged to not leave them in the wa­ter un­less load­ing or un­load­ing their boats.

PHOTO / STEPHEN PARKER

DoC has made sure ad­vi­sory signs are in place at lakes.

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