Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search

 


University increases efforts to care for campus lakes

University of Waikato increases efforts to care for campus lakes

The University of Waikato is urging people to think carefully before disposing of waste, liquids and hazardous products into drains on campus because of the negative impact on the health of the campus lakes.

Environmental and Sustainability Manager Rachael Goddard says lake conservation
efforts have been an ongoing project at the University for more than two years.

“We monitor the lakes because they are an integral part of campus and are enjoyed by staff, students and the community. We were disappointed to find ammonia levels had spiked earlier this year, which suggests someone had dumped a liquid contaminant into the lake,” says Ms Goddard.

There are 12 storm water pipes running into Oranga Lake. The campus lakes, built in the 1960s, are connected to the storm water system, which in turn discharges into the Waikato River. Ms Goddard says the University takes its responsibility in maintaining the lake’s water quality, and any run-off into the river, seriously.

A team from the University’s Department of Biological Sciences, led by Professors David Hamilton and Brendan Hicks, are currently working on improving Oranga and Knighton lakes. In addition to monitoring water quality they frequently remove pest fish, including the removal of more than 6,000 pest fish this year.

Professor Hicks says it is almost certain that pest fish are being deliberately introduced to the lake, and that people also need to be aware that getting rid of an unwanted pet goldfish into large bodies of water has damaging consequences.

“Fish may be introduced to the lake by releases of pet goldfish, but some are introduced for recreational fishing. The danger is that the fish being introduced to the lake, especially koi carp, will proliferate, further worsening the water quality in the lakes.

“A 4kg koi carp, for example, can carry as many as 400,000 eggs. Koi carp thrive in shallow lakes like those on campus and compete with native fish and eels for food.”

Professor Hicks says koi carp also worsen water quality by stirring up sediment, muddying the water and destroying native plants and fish habitats.

Most of the fish removed were tiny gambusia (mosquitofish), but more than 1,400 goldfish and 35 koi carp were also removed, including two adult koi carp weighing 4.4 and 3.5 kg each. Three more adult koi carp totalling 9.6 kg were removed in January, and population estimates suggest that at least 100 smaller koi carp remain in Oranga Lake. As these grow into adults and become more visible they can be removed before they spawn.

“Based on our studies of other shallow Waikato lakes we can estimate that, if left unchecked, the koi carp population in Oranga Lake could increase to about 500 adults weighing about 1,400 kg in total. Eight adult koi carp were captured in Knighton Lake in March 2012, suggesting that a concerted fish removal effort needs to be made in this lake too.”

Local community members can help the University care for its lakes by strictly avoiding the disposal of hazardous waste into campus drains and the lake itself, and by finding alternative homes for unwanted goldfish with friends and family, or checking with a local pet store for other options. It is forbidden by law to release live koi carp into lakes and rivers.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

AMA: Scoop's 'Invisible Paywall'

Operation Chrysalis: The Final Countdown - Thanks & There's Still Time To Pledge

Phew! We are now counting down the hours to the end of this crowd-funding campaign at 11pm on Sunday. Thankyou to all those Scoop readers and supporters who have pledged already. You have been awesome. But this is not over yet. More>>

 
 

PARLIAMENT TODAY:

IPCA Reports: Significant Problems In Police Custody

In releasing two reports today, the Independent Police Conduct Authority has highlighted a number of significant problems with the way in which Police deal with people who are detained in Police cells. More>>

ALSO:

Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security: Inquiry Into GCSB Pacific Allegations

The complaints follow recent public allegations about GCSB activities. The complaints, and these public allegations, raise wider questions regarding the collection, retention and sharing of communications data. More>>

ALSO:

TPPA Investment Leak: "NZ Surrender To US" On Corporates Suing Governments

Professor Jane Kelsey: ‘As anticipated, the deal gives foreign investors from the TPPA countries special rights, and the power to sue the government in private offshore tribunals for massive damages if new laws, or even court decisions, significantly affected their bottom line’. More>>

ALSO:

Werewolf: The Myth Of Steven Joyce

Gordon Campbell: The myth of competence that’s been woven around Steven Joyce – the Key government’s “Minister of Everything” and “Mr Fixit” – has been disseminated from high-rises to hamlets, across the country... More>>

ALSO:

RMTU: No Public Submissions On International Government Procurement Deal

“The government is preparing to assent to the Government Procurement Agreement, a World Trade Organisation Treaty which opens up New Zealand Government contracts to foreign companies and closes the door on local businesses and their workers. However the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Select Committee is refusing to take public submissions on the decision.” More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell:
On Pacific Spying

So New Zealand spied on its friends and allies in the Pacific – and has not only been passing on the results to the NSA, but has apparently passed on the details of the Pacific’s relations with Taiwan to our other best friends, the Chinese. On the side, the Key government has also been using the security services to gauge the chances of Trade Minister Tim Groser landing the top job at the WTO... More>>

ALSO:

State Housing Transfer: Salvation Army Opts Out

The Salvation Army has decided against negotiating with Government for the transfer of Housing New Zealand stock.
More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Regional
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news