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Didymosphenia geminata (aka rock snot) has been found in the South Island. Biosecurity NZ has put controlled area notices  in place for the Mararoa and Waiau Rivers in Southland, the Hawea and Clutha Rivers in Otago, and the Travers, Buller River and Lake Rotoiti in Nelson/Marlborough and West Coast regions.

Didymo is a serious threat to New Zealand's rivers. It has been confirmed in four catchments in the South Island, but has not been identified in any North Island rivers. For general information click on Didymo For more detail click on additional information.

Whilst didymo has been found in the Buller River in the north of the West Coast region, its presence has not yet been detected in any of our local rivers, streams or lakes.

Constraining the spread of this unwanted organism is OUR RESPONSIBILITY. After enjoying any river, and before entering another: 

CHECK your gear, clothing and equipment and remove any obvious contamination.

CLEAN all items that have been in any New Zealand rivers; soak or scrub with hot (60 degree C) water, 2% solution of household bleach or 5% solution of dishwashing detergent.

DRY. If cleaning in not practical, dry items to the touch and leave for at least 48 hours before using in another waterway

NB: Invasive proliferations have been reported in Canada on Vancouver Island, British Columbia where blooms of Didymo have gradually spread over two thirds of the island's waterways since the 1980's. Didymo blooms have also been reported in the United States where over 300 rivers in states such as Alaska, Washington, California, New Mexico, Utah, Montana, Colorado, South Dakota, Arkansas and Tennessee are known to be affected. 

Didymo closeup on branch View of large mats from above Didymo bloom covers large swath in waiau near Jericho
The algae attaches firmly to rocks and branches and form long 'tails' - November 2005 View of large mats from above - January 2005 The large brown blooms in the river are visible from the waters edge. This is an affected area in the Waiau river - November 2004

* Sources include Fish & Game NZ and Biosecurity NZ

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