Homeowners from Tauranga and Katikati have helped stop the spread of aquatic pests by assisting the Bay Plenty of Regional Council contractors in checks of ornamental ponds and water features.
Regional Council senior biosecurity officer Shane Grayling said they had checked 1365 properties in the Katikati, Oropi, Ohauiti and Welcome Bay areas for aquatic pests.
"283 of the properties we've visited had ponds or water features on them and we found at least one pest species in 26 of them."
"Most people we visited didn't know what kind of plants or fish lived in their water features but were really interested to find out.
"All the pests we've found will be removed or put under a control programme, and we now have at least 300 more locals that know what pests to watch out for," Mr Grayling said.
Future checks are planned for this spring and summer, targeting other parts of Tauranga and Ōmokoroa.
Anyone with questions about how to identify, control and safely dispose of pest fish or pond weeds, can call 0800 STOP PESTS (0800 786 773) or email STOP.PESTS@boprc.govt.nz