Plea after lake pests found

Wanaka lake swimmers have been coming into unpleasant contact with lake snow around Ruby Island....
Lake snow has been discovered in Southland lakes. Photo: Margot taylor
Water sports enthusiasts are being urged to keep their equipment clean after samples from Southland lakes tested positive for invasive species.

Recent samples taken from the North and South Mavora Lakes tested positive for the slimy algae Lindivia intermedia (lake snow), which is already present in Southland in Lakes Manapouri and Gunn.

Te Anau Fish & Game officer Bill Jarvie said that the discovery was a reminder that all freshwater sports enthusiasts needed to check, clean and dry equipment to minimise the spread of invasive species.

"Southland lake anglers have not experienced the incidences of trolling lines being clogged as seen in Otago’s lakes, but we need to take this issue seriously if we value the great fishing we are experiencing right now.

"Everyone must clean or totally dry boats and gear between waterways, regardless of whether there are visible signs of contamination or not."

Lake snow is not toxic and poses no known risk to human health, but if it gets into residential water supplies it can cause blockages, clog filters and affect household appliances connected to the water system.


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