Help us stop the spread of gold clams
We need everyone, including visitors to the Taupō District, to play a part in stopping the spread of the invasive freshwater gold clam.
First found in the Waikato River in May 2023, it is an unwanted organism under the Biosecurity Act. Eradicating the clam in the Waikato River is extremely unlikely, but a strategy of containment and suppression is feasible. This has been successful so far with no clams detected outside of the original stretch of river.
There is also a Controlled Area Notice (CAN), for wake boats used on the stretch of the Waikato River to help stop the spread of the gold clams. This applies to the stretch of the Waikato River from the Whakamaru Dam to the river mouth at Port Waikato, including Lake Maraetai. All wake boats using this stretch of the river must not use any other waterways – including other parts of the Waikato River outside this area.
People using rivers and lakes can spread this clam and other invasive species when they shift watercraft and gear. To prevent this, when you move:
- Remove any visible matter, including any clams you can see, along with plant material or mud. Drain all river or lake water.
- Wash down your gear, vehicle, watercraft, and trailer that has been in contact with river or lake water with tap water onto grass, beside the waterway or at home and not into a stormwater drain system. This will remove any remaining invisible material.
- For absorbent surfaces and materials that have been in contact with river or lake water (including carpet on trailers) use an appropriate treatment.
- Treat residual water that always occurs when on-board ballast bladders or tanks have been pumped.
- Allow gear to dry to touch, inside and out, then leave it to dry for at least 48 hours (two days) before using again.
- Dry areas inside the watercraft where water has pooled, for example with an old towel, and then leave the craft to dry for at least 48 hours (two days). The hull of a watercraft will dry when towed.