Thursday, July 18, 2024

Invasive fish invades Kāpiti Coast

Kāpiti Coast District Council has recently detected an invasive fish species in its local lakes. 

Council Environment and Ecological Services team lead, Andy McKay says the discovery of dead tench in Kotuku Lake and Waterstone Lake in Paraparaumu suggest that fish have been illegally released in the lakes.

Tench are an introduced fish that can grow to up to 2kg and 70cm in length in New Zealand. They are usually released as a sports fish, however, they are an invasive species that can impact native freshwater communities.

“These fish are new in these waterways and have been released on purpose,” says Mr McKay.

“This coincides with reports of people fishing at Waterstone just before Christmas. It’s disappointing that people have released fish for their own entertainment and are disregarding the effects new fish species can have on freshwater ecosystems.

“I’d like to remind everyone that the unauthorised introduction of fish into our waterways is prohibited so we can protect biodiversity in our aquatic environments.

“Transporting and releasing fish can attract enforcement penalties under the Conservation Act.”

Fishing in reserves without permission, regardless of the target species, is also prohibited under the Public Places Bylaw.

Please report people actively fishing or sightings of pest fish through the Antenno app, to our contact centre or making an online service request.

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