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Pest Fish Found at Travis Wetland

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To: Chief Reporter
From: Kristi Gray, Communication Team
Date: 24 April 2008

Christchurch City Council media release

Pest Fish Found at Travis Wetland

The recent discovery of a species of non-native potentially invasive
fish at Travis Wetland has concerned Council, Department of Conservation
(DOC) and Fish & Game rangers.

Rudd and goldfish have been illegally released into this special wetland
area prompting rangers to carry out a survey to determine their extent
of the spread and to develop options for their management and if
possible eradication.

These introduced pest fish have several negative affects on the native
species and waterways, including competing with native species for food
and places to live. They prey on eggs, juveniles and adults and
contribute to poor water quality by feeding on and destroying native
aquatic plants.

Ranger John Skilton says "The waterways of Travis Wetland are home to
many species of native fish including; eels, inanga, upland bully and
numerous native aquatic invertebrates which are all at risk from these
illegal releases. They also jeopardise future plans for the
reintroduction of endangered native fish into the wetland.

"Fish and aquatic weeds are very difficult and expensive to eradicate or
control which is an added cost ultimately borne by Christchurch rate

Rudd are classified as noxious in the Fresh Water Fisheries Regulations,
1983. People who posses, control, rear, hatch, or consign Rudd with out
authority are liable to a fine of $5000. The release of any aquatic
species (plant or animal) requires a permit under the Conservation Act,
and people are liable for a fine for any breaching of this act.

Visitors to the wetland can help by reporting unusual fish sightings,
suspicious fishing activity or people seen releasing fish into waterways
to either the CCC Travis Wetland Ranger phone (941 8999) DOC (341 9112)
or Fish & Game (366 9191).


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