Do your bit to protect the lakes and rivers that you love.

All it takes is one tiny fragment of hornwort or a single catfish egg. If aquatic pests hitch a ride on your gear they can spread to previously unaffected waterways - choking our lakes and rivers, make them murky, and out-competing native wildlife.

Rules for boat ramp users

The Bay of Plenty Regional Pest Management Plan 2020–2030 requires that all boat ramp users check, clean, dry and certify that their boat is free from freshwater pest fish and weed.

We ask that you familiarise yourself with the rules and ensure that you comply with them when heading out on the water.

Bay of Plenty Regional Council Regional Pest Management Plan 2020 – 2030 Rule 7

  1. No person shall leave boat trailers in any water body other than for the purposes of launching and/or retrieving boats.
  2. No person shall transport ballast water from any water body to any other location.
  3. All occupiers of vessels or craft entering any water body within the Bay of Plenty shall ensure their vessels or craft (including trailers) are free from freshwater pest fish and freshwater pest plants including fragments.
  4. All occupiers of vessels or craft using a boat ramp with a self-certification checkpoint must complete the supplied certification form and display it in the vehicle used to launch the boat

Lakeside self-certification checkpoints have been set up at boat ramps around the Rotorua Te Arawa lakes. Biosecurity staff will be visiting boat ramps throughout summer to help lake users understand the rules and check that they are complying with them.

Full instructions on how to self-certify are at the boat ramps.

 Print out and complete the form if no forms are available at the boat ramp.

How to Check, Clean, Dry

You can help to reduce the spread of freshwater pests by using the 'Check, Clean, Dry' (CCD) method every time you move between waterways.

Check your gear

Remove any plant matter from your gear and leave it at the river or lake bank, or put it in the rubbish. Don't wash plant material down any drain. Empty any ballast or bilge water that may be lying in your vessel.

Clean your gear

Use 10% dishwashing detergent mixed with water and leave the item wet for 10 minutes.

The rule of thumb for 10% detergent mix is:

  • for a 250ml (small) spray bottle, put in 1 and half tablespoons
  • for a 500ml (large) spray bottle, put in 3 tablespoons
  • for a 10-litre bucket, put in 1 litre of detergent.

Cleaning options:



Treatment time2

Dishwashing detergent or nappy cleaner

10% mix

Soak or spray all surfaces and leave wet for at least 10 minutes


2% mix
(200mls diluted to 10 litres in water)

Soak or spray all surfaces for at least 1 minute

Hot water1

Above 60°C

Above 45°C

Soak for at least 1 minute

Soak for at least 20 minutes



Until solid

1 60°C – hotter than most tap water; 45°C – uncomfortable to touch
2 Allow longer times for absorbent items.

Dry your gear

Ensure your gear is completely dry to touch, inside and out, then leave dry for at least another 48 hours before you use it (didymo can survive for months on moist gear).