Wednesday 19 December 2018
The discovery of catfish in Lake Rotorua wasn’t the
surprise that the Bay of Plenty Regional Council staff were hoping for this
holiday season; however that’s what they got on Tuesday when six catfish were
caught near Mokoia Island during biosecurity surveillance work.
This is the first time the pest fish has been found in Lake Rotorua. Regional Council Biosecurity Manager Greg Corbett said he’s devastated by the discovery but his team won’t be giving up on trying to control the pest fish.
“The next step will be to carry out more surveillance to determine the extent of the infestation. Once we know what we are dealing with, we will work with our partners to develop a plan of attack,” explains Corbett.
It is not yet known how the catfish got into Lake Rotorua, and while it is likely they got there by moving up through the Ōhau Channel, Mr Corbett said he can’t rule out humans giving them a helping hand.
“Catfish are like cockroaches and can survive in some
pretty extreme conditions, including being out of water for up to 48 hours in
summer. These catfish may have been hiding on someone’s trailer, boat or
jetski. It is also common for pest fish and their eggs to hide amongst the
weeds that people often neglect to remove from their gear,” explains Corbett.
With summer holidays officially starting this weekend, the lakes will be at their busiest, and the risk of catfish spreading even further is at a critical point, if lake users aren’t vigilant.
“A single catfish can lay up to 10,000 eggs so it doesn’t take many of them to spoil a lake, said Mr Corbett.
He’s asking lake users to help stop the spread of catfish and other aquatic pest by taking just five minutes to do three simple things. Before you leave a lake, waterway or river, make sure you:
For further media information please contact Harry.Singh@boprc.govt.nz, or call Harry Singh, Communications and Marketing Advisor on 0800 884 880.