Whether it's shoes, boats and trailers, or fishing tackles, Hawke's Bay Regional Council is reminding water lovers to clean any gear that's come into contact with fresh water.

The council is working alongside the Ministry for Primary Industries to spread the message of the Check Clean Dry campaign, which aims to establish a habit to avoid the spread of unwanted freshwater pests including the invasive didymo.

Signs have been placed at key fishing and boating sites around the region and Hawke's Bay's Check Clean Dry advocate Abby Wayte-Macredie said it was important people get on board.

"Unwanted freshwater pests such as didymo, lake snow, and hornwort pose a serious threat to our rivers, streams and lakes. Once in a waterway they can spread rapidly and destroy the environmental, recreational and aesthetic values of our waterways," she said.


"All items should then be cleaned for at least one minute with a 5 per cent solution of biodegradable dishwashing solution. That's about one tablespoon of detergent per 250ml.

"Water absorbent materials such as lifejackets, wetsuits, shoes and boots require longer soaking times to allow thorough saturation."

The council and MPI have been working hard to control Hawke's Bay's own invasive weed – Hydrilla – that is found only in Lakes Tutira, Waikapiro, Opouahi and Eland.

Another problem weed, Lagarosiphon, is found in Lake Waikaremoana.

"Just remember to Check Clean Dry when moving from one waterway to another, anywhere in New Zealand."

For more information about cleaning gear and unwanted pests go to www.mpi.govt.nz/check-clean-dry .

To report suspected Didymo or other pests, phone the hotline immediately on 0800 99 66.