Kauru River access closed until April

Restrictions on fishing and entry to the Kauru River in North Otago until April 2010 have been imposed to protect the habitat of one of New Zealand's rarest and most threatened fish.

The action is to protect the key habitat of the tiny lowland longjaw galaxias - the country's most threatened native freshwater fish - from the threat posed by didymo.

The Kauru River, near Maheno, is a tributary of the Kakanui River. Didymo was discovered in the Kakanui River last year.

Last month, the Department of Conservation pleaded with people to help save the lowland longjaw galaxias as didymo threatened to make it extinct.

People had been cutting and driving through a fence set up to keep them out of the Kauru River, while rangers were trying to keep out didymo and keep the fish population alive.

The waters of the Kauru River, from the Kauru Hill Rd bridge downstream to its confluence with the Kakanui River, will be closed off to public access from tomorrow until April 30, 2010.

All the waters of the river will be closed to fishing.

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