Saturday, 27 February 2016

Cleaning up our waterways

For 25 years, the Rotary Club of Huntly, NZ has been involved with the New Zealand Bow Hunters’ World Koi Carp Classic which is held over the first weekend of November to coincide with the spawning season of the carp. 

Koi Carp are classified as an unwanted organism under the NZ Bio Security Act with huge fines or imprisonment for anyone caught releasing, spreading, selling or breeding them. 

The idea of NZ Bow Hunters member Alan Metcalfe has seen approximately 75,000 kilograms of Koi Carp caught from its inception in 1990 to 2015. These have been caught by both local and overseas bow hunters from the Waikato River and 18 lakes surrounding Huntly. 

This annual event is sponsored by the NZ Department of Conservation, Waikato Hunting and Fishing, Waikato River Authority, Fulton Hogan - HEB Construction Alliance and Rotarian Peter Sweetman of Sweetman's Ltd. 

Huntly Rotarians under the guidance of Peter, have weighed in and tallied all the monsters and minis caught. What happens to the caught fish?  Presently the surplus fish that are not winners of the many categories are minced up in a Hogger. 

Members of the public make a monetary donation to Huntly Rotary for berley.  This has allowed Huntly Rotary over the last five years to put more than $5000 back into the local community. 

However, this only known one of its kind event is under threat of closure. 

Unless a satisfactory solution can be found for the disposal of the excess fish, and the impending closure be stopped, the Waikato, Bay of Plenty recreational waterways are under threat from these pests.  They absorb the nitrogen from the lakes compromising the water quality, but as a fertiliser they are extremely rich in nitrogen, and the annual fundraising for our club’s community projects is also under threat.

Perhaps there is a solution out there that we haven't yet found, in which case Huntly Rotary and New Zealand Bow Hunters will be receptive to all suggestions. Please email Huntly Rotary President Dennis Murdoch via