Didymo confirmed in Waitaki River
26 January 2006
Didymo has been confirmed in the Waitaki River, Biosecurity New Zealand announced today.
Biosecurity New Zealand Manager Surveillance and Incursion Response David Hayes said a sample from downstream of Kurow, near Waikaura, had been submitted by Fish and Game. The identification was confirmed by NIWA this morning.
"Right now, we only know that Didymo is present in the river below the township but we expect it will be present in microscopic form downstream and possibly upstream as well, Dr Hayes says.
"We can't say how long it has been in the river. We didn’t detect it when we sampled the Waitaki as part of the national delimiting survey late last year, but it is possible it was present then in microscopic form and not detected. There is adequate signage in the area and high levels of public awareness. We are working with Environment Canterbury, Fish and Game and the Department of Conservation to see if further local actions are required.
"That a further river has been found to be affected is not unforeseen. Once again we remind freshwater users that Didymo is a microscopic organism, and personal responsibility is the key to limiting its spread. Users of freshwaters should Check, Clean, Dry all items between waterways".
Results of environmental trials of potential Didymo control options being conducted in Southland are expected later this year.
Senior Communications Adviser
Biosecurity New Zealand
027 229 9145