School children, lakeside residents, marae groups, and eco-warriors are leading the fight against the dreaded bullhead catfish but have hit a cruel snag after nets were stolen. Some were bought after the hardy North American species spread from Lake Rotoiti to Lake Rotorua in December. It was first found in Te Weta Bay in 2016, and in the 2017/2018 summer, the population boomed. Catfish are a threat to native fish, kōura and their eggs. They also compete with some trout and eat their eggs. The bottom feeders can also deteriorate water quality by bringing up sediment.

Ten catfish "fyke" nets,

How to stop the spread

What are catfish?