Stop the spread! Remember to Check Clean Dry this duck hunting season

Now that the country is at COVID-19 Alert Level 2 and New Zealanders begin to venture out of their homes to enjoy the great outdoors, the duck hunting season will be open for business.

Duck hunters are therefore reminded to avoid spreading aquatic pest plants and fish from one waterway to another by taking steps to Check, Clean, Dry this season.

“The COVID-19 lockdown has shown us that we can overcome challenges when we work together. So, as well as following the relevant Level 2 measures, let’s stop the spread of unwelcome species across our country’s waterways and remember to check, clean and dry any gear that comes in contact with water,” says the Taranaki Regional Council’s Environment Services Manager, Steve Ellis.

“Pest fish such as koi carp, Gambusia, rudd and catfish, and pest plants like waterweed hornwort are invasive and can have an irreversible impact on freshwater ecosystems and fisheries. We do not want them in our waterways.”

All users of waterways for recreation should follow the ‘check clean dry’ procedure to ensure they don’t transfer unwelcome aquatic pests between waterways – CHECK for any plant or animal material on clothing and gear, CLEAN thoroughly with detergent and DRY for at least 48 hours before using in another waterway.

CHECK
Check everything that has been in the water for debris or plant matter. For example, waders, dogs, decoys and dinghies.

CLEAN
Soak the items or scrub them with detergent (5 per cent detergent in water or 2 per cent household bleach in water) for at least one minute, getting them fully wet.

DRY
If you’re not moving to another waterway for a few days, thoroughly dry your items inside and out, and leave them for 48 hours to ensure that any pests are dead.

For more details go to www.mpi.govt.nz/check-clean-dry/(external link)

The duck shooting season runs until early July.