Tasmania’s wild river systems make for some pretty awesome kayaking and canoeing. From those who enjoy a leisurely paddle beside a campsite to the most extreme whitewater adrenaline junkies, people from all over the world come to Tasmania to experience our waterways.

Unfortunately, our waterways and surrounding environment are under threat from introduced pests, weeds and disease-causing pathogens.

One drop of contaminated moisture from your boat is enough to put a pristine area at risk.

One of the major threats we face is an algae that has already spread to New Zealand from the northern hemisphere. It chokes rivers so badly that whole waterway systems effectively die. It’s called Didymo, and its common name is ‘rock snot’, which might tell you a little about what it’s like. If Didymo takes hold in Tasmania our environment will be unrecognisable.

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Check, Clean, Dry

kayakcleanIf you only ever paddle in the one area then there’s little risk of spreading unwanted organisms around.

But if you move from place to place to find new water then it’s crucial that you don’t unwittingly carry a microscopic hitchhiker between sites.

Some people from other states believe that if their boat and equipment is clean before they get here then there’s no need to be so careful when moving between rivers in Tasmania. That’s not the case. We already have some introduced pests, weeds and disease-causing pathogens in this state and it is vital that we limit their spread.

Make sure your boat and equipment is spotless before you use it in a new waterway. Check, Clean and Dry it between sites, and if you can’t be sure your gear will dry before you next use it, Disinfect as well.

  • When washing your boat, soak the footwells and any internal storage compartments with F10 disinfectant (be careful where you drain it – although it is biologically safe it doesn’t belong in a waterway).
  • Neoprene is of particular concern as it takes so long to dry. If you can’t give it at least 48 hours to dry out, soak it in an F10 solution for at least half an hour.
  • Make sure all your other gear is clean and dry before you use it again.

These short videos will help you to understand the significance of the problem we face here in Tasmania.

Didymo and our waterways

Protecting Tasmania's frogs

More info

You can obtain a biosecurity field hygiene kit from us. It’s a great resource to help you and your mates keep your boat and equipment clean.