Date: 05 August 2013
Relief again after a negative test result for didymo in the upper Tongariro River following an alert from Genesis Energy staff of a suspicious algae bloom at the Rangipo Dam.
The didymo risk remains high for the Taupō Fishery and the region’s valued water quality, and the recent scare is another reminder for freshwater users to remain vigilant in their Check Clean Dry actions between all fresh waterways in the North and the South Island.
The Department of Conservation responded immediately to the sighting and confirmed the negative results as a native algae Gomphoneis. Taupō Fishery scientist Michel Dedual explained that “Continued low river levels have caused native algae to flourish in the pristine waterways”.
Department freshwater threats ranger Brenda Lawson asks freshwater users to continue to watch for suspicious looking algae and if they see anything unusual to take photos and report it immediately to the biosecurity hotline, phone 0800 80 99 66.
The easy Check Clean Dry steps for recreational gear that comes in contact with freshwater remains the best way to prevent the spread of freshwater pests such as didymo, lagarosiphon, hornwort and pest fish such as koi carp. The easy steps can be found at Cleaning methods on the Biosecurity website.
Didymo is an unwanted freshwater alga that was introduced to the South Island in 2004 and the huge effort continues to contain further spread.
Ms Lawson explains, “Didymo has not been detected in the North Island to date, however as didymo starts off microscopically small a stream could be infected without visible signs and potentially spread fast – this is why we ask freshwater users to assume every waterway is already affected and Check Clean Dry every time”.
If you would like to help promote the Check Clean Dry campaign, please contact Brenda who can support you.
Ranger - Community Relations Freshwater/Threats
Programme Manager Community Relations
Department of Conservation
Phone: +64 7 3847163