Have you seen koi carp?
Archived content: This media release was accurate on the date of publication.
IntroductionThe Department of Conservation (DOC) is asking the public to report sightings of the pest fish koi carp in the Whakatane/Opotiki district.
Date: 23 September 2010
The Department of Conservation (DOC) is asking the public to report sightings of the pest fish koi carp in the Whakatane/Opotiki district. Koi carp have a significant effect on freshwater environments, native species and the whitebait, eel and trout fisheries.
They are currently found in Tauranga and there is a risk of accidental or illegal spread into koi carp free catchments within the Eastern Bay of Plenty says Ranger, Biodiversity Threats Peter Livingstone.
“There have been several unconfirmed sightings of koi carp within the Whakatane/Opotiki district in the last few years. They spawn in spring and summer with females producing several hundred thousand eggs. The carp are very robust and can survive out of the water for a significant period, so we need to keep a constant watch for them.”
“We will have a contractor undertaking pest fish surveillance starting next month over the Summer period to follow up on these and any new koi carp sightings” says Mr Livingstone.
The carp are pests because they cause water quality degradation by mixing up sediment on the bottom of waterways; eat aquatic plants, insects and small fish, making waterways unsuitable for native fish and trout and are easily transferred as adults or eggs into new waterways. As prolific breeders, their numbers build rapidly so they can readily “take over” new sites.
Koi carp resemble large goldfish except for two pairs of barbels or feelers at the corners of their mouth. Their colours vary, often with irregular blotches of black, red, gold, orange or pearly white and they can grow to about 75cm. Barbels are the most obvious feature, which distinguish the carp from other species such as goldfish.
They mostly live in sluggish, often weedy streams and around the shallow areas of lakes and lagoons.