Hunters told “Wash your Weedy Waders”

Duck hunter Dale Williams removing aquatic weed from decoy lines.

Bay of Plenty Regional Council is reminding duck shooters to do their bit to avoid spreading damaging freshwater pests with the hunting season opening tomorrow,

“Unwanted freshwater pests such as catfish and hornwort are serious threats to the life of our incredible lakes, rivers, and streams,” says Bay of Plenty Regional Council biosecurity officer Lucas MacDonald.

“Catfish are an unwanted pest that prey on trout, native fish and lower water quality by disturbing sediment, while pest plants like hornwort smother and suffocate aquatic life.

"These freshwater pest species can have major impacts on waterways and affect the freshwater sports and activities that New Zealanders love.”

Lucas advises that duck hunters who shoot from spots on different waterways need to be extra vigilant.

"Before leaving a waterway, hunters should 'wash their weedy waders' by checking their gear and removing any visible weed or debris.

“Check, Clean, Dry all equipment that makes contact with the river or lake water – especially decoys, decoy anchor lines, anchors, weights, boots and waders.

“I know that hunters are especially keen to get out to their favourite spots for a shoot. This year, more than ever, we are all aware of appreciating and protecting what we’ve got, and keeping our waterways healthy for future generations is part of that."

For more information about freshwater pests go to:

· https://www.boprc.govt.nz/environment/pests/aquatic-pests/

· www.mpi.govt.nz/check-clean-dry

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