29 February 2016

A Bay of Plenty Regional Council contractor is checking ornamental ponds in Katikati for aquatic pests this month.

Regional Council Land Management Officer Donna Watchman said that Regional Council is searching for pond fish and weeds that are classified as pests because of the risks they pose to nearby streams, lakes and wetlands.

“Pest fish such as koi carp and catfish can eat and out-compete native fish. They make water murky and unhealthy when they stir up sediments and reduce oxygen levels. Pond weeds like salvinia and water hyacinth grow as thick floating mats that can choke waterways, clog irrigation intakes and aggravate flooding.

Pest fish and weeds that seem safely contained in a pond can be easily spread elsewhere by birds, pond overflows, earthworks machinery or if they’re shared with neighbours and friends,” Mrs Watchman said.

Regional Council’s contractor, Angelika Stadler is visiting properties around Katikati to check outdoor ponds during February and March.

“She’ll call ahead where possible, but there may be times when she needs to enter a property before we’ve been able to get hold of the occupiers. A notice about the visit will be left in the letterbox or posted out after the visit to each property. We’ll let the occupiers know if any pests were found and if anything further needs to be done,” said Mrs Watchman.

Mrs Watchman also said that people are welcome to ask the contractor for information and advice about how to control and safely dispose of any pest fish and weeds, when she visits.

“They can also contact our biosecurity team directly, to discuss the pond checks or any other pest concerns, by calling 0800 STOP PESTS (0800 786 773) or emailing STOP.PESTS@boprc.govt.nz.