Help prevent the spread of didymo and other freshwater pests that threaten our waterways. Find out how you can help.

Do not take the lake upriver

Didymo is found in Lake Te Anau, Lake Manapouri and other lakes and rivers. Therefore it is important to Check, Clean, Dry all gear before leaving the lake edge and moving into lake tributaries or when moving between waterways. Check, Clean, Dry prevents the spread of all freshwater pests, not just didymo.

Check, Clean and Dry between waterways logo.
Check, Clean, Dry to help prevent the spread of didymo and other freshwater pests

Special conditions – anglers

Anyone wanting to fish on most of Fiordland’s rivers and lakes must obtain a Clean Gear Certificate for all gear at an approved cleaning station, within 48 hours prior to fishing. Specific areas are excluded from these restrictions and conditions – see map in the brochure link below.

These fishing controls require you to have in your possession:

  1. a current Sports Fishing Licence
  2. a valid Clean Gear Certificate
  3. an approved didymo cleaning kit. The cleaning kit must include; a bucket or large strong plastic bag, scrubbing brush, spray bottle, cleaning solution and a measuring cup. Use it to clean all equipment when moving between waterways within these areas
  4. the Clinton and Worsley rivers and Etterick Burn also require applying for a ballot through the online form

Note: felt-soled waders are not permitted in lakes and rivers.

Special conditions – boat users

Fiordland is well known for its packrafting opportunities. But this comes with an increased risk of spreading didymo to remote Fiordland waterways.

Popular routes such as the Hollyford-Pyke, and the Kaipo River Route are particularly at risk to didymo exposure. Check, Clean, and Dry your packrafting gear before trips in these areas. 

Watercraft operating on large eastern Fiordland lakes are encouraged not to enter tributary rivers, as these lakes are didymo-infected. Movement may spread didymo upstream into these pristine rivers.

Cleaning stations for boat users

Cleaning stations are available throughout the National Park. There are  many off the Milford Road (Cascade Creek, Dore Pass Route) and at other high use areas (Lake Hauroko, Sandfly Point).

For a complete list of cleaning stations and further assistance, contact the Te Anau Office.

Permits for kayakers and packrafters

Watercraft are prohibited from entering the Clinton and Arthur rivers, but a permit control system is in place for kayakers and packrafters to use watercraft on the Arthur River between Sandfly Point and Lake Ada.

To get a permit contact:

Special conditions – trampers and hunters

To limit the spread of didymo, Milford Track walkers need to bring dry clothing and boots. If boots and socks are damp they will need to be disinfected before leaving for the track. There is also a cleaning station provided at Glade clearing.

It is up to each person to take personal responsibility for limiting the spread of didymo. While cleaning gear is provided at some huts you are encouraged to carry your own supplies. The message is Check, Clean, Dry your gear before heading into Fiordland.

If you have concerns or questions please contact the Department of Conservation.

Disinfecting your gear

If your gear has been thoroughly dry to touch for at least 48 hours before your trip, you are didymo-free. If your gear is wet or damp from contact with any river or lake, you will need to disinfect your equipment, including socks and boots. Felt-soled waders are not permitted in lakes and rivers.

Clean and scrub all equipment with a disinfecting solution, ensuring surface contact for one minute for nonabsorbent items. Absorbent items need to be soaked to allow thorough saturation. There are a range of solutions you can use. The easiest is a 10% solution of dishwashing liquid, ie one cup of dishwashing detergent with water added to make five litres. Freezing any item until solid will also kill didymo.

Restrictions on fishing in Fiordland National Park

There are restrictions and conditions on sports fishing in certain rivers and lakes of Fiordland National Park due to the threat of didymo.

Download this information in a brochure

Freshwater pest controls for Fiordland National Park and map (PDF, 690K)

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