In response to the discovery of a catfish in Lake Rotoiti last week, our biosecurity staff will be working in the lake next week (as weather allows) to identify whether a breeding population of catfish is present and if so, how widespread the problem is.
With assistance from University of Waikato, we’ll be using fyke nets and an electric fishing boat to locate and remove any catfish that can be found.
We’ll be starting with Te Weta Bay, Okawa Bay and Okere and will take an adaptive approach to further searching, based on what is found.
We’ll be taking care to avoid harm to dabchicks or other non-target species as much as possible by adjusting timing, placement and baiting of nets as needed.
Control options and public advocacy campaign work will be considered and developed once the scale of the problem has been fully assessed.
If you have any concerns or would like to discuss this work further, please don’t hesitate to contact me on 0800 884 881 ext 7571.
If anyone sees a catfish in the Bay of Plenty, they should report it to us by calling 0800 STOP PESTS (0800 786 773).