Good response to campaign against aquatic weeds

By Mark Story

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The Check Clean Dry awareness programme to help prevent the spread of didymo and other aquatic weeds has had a positive response from Hawke's Bay river users.

During the summer Natalie de Burgh, a science student, has been employed by the Hawke's Bay Regional Council to get out and about around the region's waterways and talk to people about the Check Clean Dry campaign. "Most people are very aware of the easy way to eliminate the possibility of any plant material spreading by remembering to Check, Clean, Dry, and know the risks that didymo poses to the North Island," she said.

In Hawke's Bay, hydrilla is also a major concern and HBRC is using Check Clean Dry as an umbrella campaign to protect against the spread of this and all invasive aquatic weeds.

In New Zealand, hydrilla is only found in the wild in Lakes Tutira, Waikapiro, Opouahi and Eland where it is being controlled by grass carp. As tiny fragments of weed can remain viable almost indefinitely if kept damp, they can grow and spread if they drop into another lake, stream or river.

For suspected didymo finds, contact the MAF hotline 0800 80 99 66. For information on cleaning methods go to biosecurity.govt.nz/pests/didymo/cleaning.

- HAWKES BAY TODAY

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