Anglers urged to look after lake environment
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.
DoC has made sure advisory signs are in place at lakes.