Coun­cil: No bot­u­lism in Toko­roa Lake

South Waikato News - - Conversations - FRANCES FER­GU­SON

The re­cent deaths of ducks found by a mem­ber of the pub­lic at Lake Moananui has sparked a com­mit­tee mem­ber to speak out.

Wayne Hard­wick, from Friends of the Lake, is at his wits end try­ing to con­vince the group to test the lake for bot­u­lism.

He in­formed the vol­un­teer group in Septem­ber 2015 that dead ducks and al­gae were at the lake.

An­gry at their re­fusal to ac­cept his find­ings Hard­wick

‘‘Coun­cil’s Parks and Prop­erty team mon­i­tor the lake reg­u­larly and have stepped up their mon­i­tor­ing since the ducks were found.’’ Ted An­der­son

of­fered to pay for the test.

‘‘It’s been a up­hill bat­tle with me try­ing to get th­ese peo­ple to un­der­stand what’s hap­pen­ing.

‘‘Some peo­ple just don’t have com­mon sense,’’ he said.

His con­cerns were raised af­ter read­ing about June Schol­lum find­ing dead and dis­tressed ducks in April.

Vet­eri­nar­ian Jess Yard­ley from the South Waikato Vet­eri­nary Ser­vice later con­firmed the ducks had Avian Bot­u­lism.

Hard­wick set up his own Face­book page to up­date the com­mu­nity with­out worry of in­ter­fer­ence from the coun­cil.

‘‘I could be cut­ting my throat a bit but I’m do­ing every­thing on my site we couldn’t do or was out of our ju­ris­dic­tion.

‘‘You can’t do any­thing if your hands are tied.’’

South Waikato District Coun­cil group as­sets man­ager Ted An­der­son­said staff have been mon­i­tor­ing the lake and were sat­is­fied that no test needed to be done.

‘‘Coun­cil does not feel there is a cause for con­cern as the deaths of wildlife is a nor­mal oc­cur­rence.

‘‘Coun­cil’s Parks and Prop­erty team mon­i­tor the lake reg­u­larly and have stepped up their mon­i­tor­ing since the ducks were found,’’ he said.

‘‘No fur­ther dead ducks have been found by the team since the ini­tial find­ings. There is no ev­i­dence of bot­u­lism.’’

But Hard­wick be­lieved pre­ven­tion was bet­ter than wait­ing for a cure say­ing the coun­cil needs to get stuck in and have the lake dredged.

‘‘The wa­ter is too shal­low and in the hot sea­sons the al­gae grows out of con­trol and in the win­ter it rains and all of it flows into the drains out into the Waikato River.’’

Friends of the Lake work with a steer­ing group formed by coun­cil.

June Schol­lum reached out to the Toko­roa com­mu­nity ask­ing for help on face­book when she found ducks dy­ing at Lake Moananui.

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