With the holiday season in full swing, the Bay of Plenty Regional Council along with volunteers from the Te Arawa Lakes Trust will be visiting various boat ramps in the region.

These visits will be to remind lake users of the importance of correctly cleaning their equipment to avoid the spread of unwanted freshwater pests.

"We will be present at some of the most popular boat ramps over the next six weekends to educate people on how to check, clean, drain and dry their equipment and to ensure that they do so correctly," Bay of Plenty Regional Council biosecurity officer Lucas MacDonald said.

MacDonald highlighted unwanted freshwater pests such as hornwort and catfish were already present in some Rotorua Te Arawa lakes, so it was vital to both prevent their further spread and avoid any new pests coming into the region.


Once a pest enters a waterway they can disperse rapidly and destroy the environmental, recreational and aesthetic values of the waterways.

"Before leaving any waterway, people should check items, drain any ballast water and remove any weed or debris that they find," MacDonald said.

"All items need to be cleaned for at least one minute with a five per cent solution of biodegradable dishwashing solution. That's about one tablespoon of detergent per 250ml.

"Ideally equipment should be left dry before use.

"Following these simple procedures will help slow freshwater pests from spreading throughout New Zealand waterways. It's everyone's responsibility to try to preserve the environmental integrity of our waterways for future generations.

"Just remember to Check, Clean, Dry when moving from one waterway to another."