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Duck Shooters To Watch For Algal Blooms

28 April 2014

Duck Shooters To Watch For Algal Blooms

Although cyanobacteria has not been a major risk on rivers this summer, game Hawke’s Bay Regional Council is advising bird shooters to keep a close watch on their dogs around waterways.

The blue-green algae can be toxic and dries into mats that have a strong musty smell that attracts dogs. After the heavy rain in recent weeks, mats of the algae may still be along river margins. While HBRC science staff monitor the main rivers for algal blooms, they do not monitor the water quality in farm dams on private land where algal bloom could be present.

HBRC’s senior environmental scientist, Anna Madarasz-Smith says shooters going to use private maimais are advised to check with the landowner if there are any algal bloom concerns.

“These blooms look like floating algae and can turn the water a tea colour or a bright green that is not the normal duckweed green,” she says. A pamphlet ‘My Pond’s Gone Green’ is available from HBRC to assist landowners to identify water quality problems.

As it may not be practical to leave dogs at home, shooters need to check the surrounds of rivers, lakes and ponds for any signs of algal mats and keep an eye on their dogs to prevent them scavenging. If a dog has any unusual symptoms after returning from a river, owners should seek veterinarian treatment.

Other information for shooters from Hawke’s Bay Regional Council:

• shooting is no longer permitted at East Clive wetland since rules were changed for public safety in 2013
• the Pekapeka Wetland interpretation area and car park will be closed to the public in the first weekend of the game bird season as agreed with local shooters.

Shooters wanting any information from the Regional Council can contact 0800 108 838.

ENDS

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