The North Island is still didymo free, so it is timely to remind your members that the “Check Clean Dry” process is still vitally important in keeping the North Island didymo free.
With the rapidly approaching Easter break, being a traditional time for South Island trips, I would like to draw your attention to some new “tramping and hunting” based information and resources that MAFBNZ have available.
MAFBNZ are the lead agency for Didymo awareness and response. Their website http://www.biosecurity.govt.nz/didymo has the most up to date information on how to decontaminate items that have been exposed to freshwater. It also has maps of where didymo is currently found (but that should be treated as indicative only, because testing on rivers is carried out at different time intervals). It is best to assume that all freshwater you enter may have didymo in it, and that the next river has none.
MAFBNZ have specific tramping sized spray bottles (250ml), eco friendly detergent for decontamination, brochures and some treats for those following the “Check Clean Dry” method.
There is also specific didymo information on the DOC website http://www.doc.govt.nz/conservation/threats-and-impacts/biosecurity/didymo/ that also links to some areas that have specific didymo controls to protect special areas (Fiordland and Stewart Island)
If you would like to get more information on didymo, how to decontaminate specific items and what is happening locally please feel free to contact me.
I hope to see you in the hills sometime.
Technical Support Officer – Freshwater Aquatic Pests / Kaimatanga — Orota Wai Maori
Wellington Hawke’s Bay Conservancy, Department of Conservation