The spread of freshwater pests can be reduced by a simple 'Check, Clean, Dry and Certify' by Bay of Plenty boaties this summer.
The rule applies to users of freshwater boat ramps in the region only and was introduced as part of last year's pest management plan.
"These sets of rules are the first of their kind in New Zealand," said Te Wakaunua Te Kurapa, biosecurity officer at the Bay of Plenty Regional Council Toi Moana.
"The rule applies to all freshwater bodies within the Bay of Plenty and you'll see self-certification stands located at many of the more popular boat ramps around the Rotorua lakes."
As summer approaches, boaties can expect to see an increased presence of biosecurity officers.
"The Rotorua lakes are unique in that there are 14 lakes located within close proximity to each other. There is a high risk of noxious weeds and pest fish being transported when lake users move from lake to lake," Te Kurapa said.
"Te Arawa Lakes Trust, in partnership with the regional council, will be responsible for maintaining compliance.
"There'll be people at most of the busy boat ramps to ensure that people understand what's required of them before they enter the lakes."
The operations manager at Te Arawa Lakes Trust, William Anaru, said stowaway catfish and their eggs are being targeted.
"We've seen with the catfish problem in Rotoiti and Rotorua that it's having a devastating impact on our taonga species, mainly koura," he said.
"Their numbers have dropped off quite a lot since we found catfish in those lakes."
Completing a self-assessment should only take five to 10 minutes, he said.
"We really want people to walk around the boat and trailer and check all the little nooks and crannies, all the pipes and behind the tyres.
"Checking your anchor, making sure there's no weed in there.
"Something that doesn't get mentioned a lot is if you do catch a catfish, is to kill it before taking it away from the lake and dispose of it properly."
Before boat ramp inspections were introduced, only around a third of boaties were complying with the rule.
"With the boat ramp inspections, the compliance is a lot higher," Anaru said.
"Last year we might have done over a thousand boat ramp inspections and there were only about 10 or 15 that might have had a piece of weed on there, so most people are pretty good."