Check, clean and dry to combat ‘lake snow’

  • 13/06/2018

Check, clean and dry to combat ‘lake snow’

Fish & Game is urging its licenceholders to check, clean and dry their angling and hunting equipment to help combat the North Island spread of the algae which causes lake snow.

The microscopic algae – known as Lindavia intermedia - has been found in the Waikato and Manawatū-Whanganui regions for the first time.  

Right: Lake snow clogging a fishing reel.

In the South Island, the algae has developed into mucus-like strings known as lake snow or lake snot. While it is not a known health threat, it can clog fishing and boating equipment.

The algae has now been confirmed in the central North Island, including Lake Taupo and Lake Rotoaira. It is also known to already be in Lake Waikaremoana.

Horizons and Waikato Regional Council are now testing to see if it is in other lakes.

Fish & Game says the discovery is unwelcome and is urging all its fishing and hunting licence holders to be vigilant about cleaning their equipment after a day out on the water.

Fish & Game’s Communications Manager Don Rood says they have a critical part to play in helping stop the algae’s spread.

“Once this algae gets into a lake, there’s no way to remove it, so we’re telling our licenceholders to make sure they follow the check, clean and dry advice to stop it spreading further,” he says.

“In the South Island, it’s caused problems with its long strands of white growth clogging fishing lines, lures and reels and affecting boat motors.  We don’t want that happening in the North Island.”

Lake Taupo and neighbouring waterways are extremely popular trout fisheries and Don Rood says they provide a huge recreational and economic benefit.

“Trout angling is not only highly valued by Kiwis, but these fisheries also earn many millions of dollars in tourist revenue.  We need to do all we can to protect this valuable recreational asset.” 

The game bird hunting season is underway at the moment and Fish & Game says hunters too need to be careful.

“Hunters using boats on central North Island lakes need to check, clean and dry their equipment, particularly boats, motors and trailers,” Mr Rood says.

“Spraying them with a 5% solution of dishwashing detergent or nappy cleaner will do the trick, or a 2% bleach solution. 

“And be especially cautious if travelling to another lake or river.”

Advice on combatting Lindavia can be found here:

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