Check, Clean, Dry

Keep our waterways pest-free

Freshwater weeds and pests like didymo choke our country’s lakes, rivers and streams.

If you’re moving between waterways, check, clean, dry your gear so they don’t hitch a ride with you.

Here's how


Check and chuck – take off any bits of weed you can see on your gear

Remove any plant matter from your gear and leave it at the river or lake bank or put it in the rubbish. Don't wash plant material down any drain.


Clean with a detergent mix, because if you use just cold water you are keeping these weeds and pests alive

Clean any gear that has been in contact with the water, including boots, fishing gear, your boat or trailer.

Use a mix of 10% dishwashing detergent or 2% bleach with water, or use hot water. See the MPI website for more detail about cleaning options for your gear.

Carefully check areas where freshwater pests could hide, such as jet units, bilge pumps, outboard motor cooling systems, anchor recesses, wheel arches and trailers.


Dry your gear, if you can, because moisture helps these weeds and pests survive

Make sure your gear is completely dry to touch, inside and out, then leave it dry for at least another 48 hours before you use it. Didymo, for example, can survive for months on moist gear.


Invasive clam in the Waikato River

If you are using the Waikato River and lakes, or any North Island river or lake, read about the new Check Clean Dry requirements to prevent the spread of the freshwater gold clam.

Check Clean Dry campaign banner featuring a boatie, fisher, and man on a jetski

"Attack of the Freshwater Pests” digital campaign is spreading the word this summer.

Brought to you by the Check Clean Dry Partners: All regional councils, Biosecurity New Zealand, Department of Conservation, Fish & Game New Zealand, Genesis Energy, Land Information New Zealand, Meridian Energy, NIWA, Te Arawa Lakes Trust, Tūwharetoa Māori Trust Board.