Laura Dee joined us as our Invasive Species Officer earlier this year. In this blog, she explains why she has been busy installing dip tanks at some of our fisheries and how all of us can play our part to protect the lakes from invasive non-native species.

Invasive non-native species 

Invasive non-native species (INNS) can impact our native species by overruling them or creating habitats that are not livable. INNS can easily be transported between lakes so to help reduce their impact, South West Lakes Trust and South West Water are working together to provide appropriate biosecurity measures, including installing dip tanks.  Dip tanks are an important piece of biosecurity that allow anglers to dip their equipment before fishing in our lakes which helps to protect the lakes.

Dip tank installation at Bussow

Bussow Reservoir, located near St Ives and Penzance, is a coarse fishery with 12 swims containing carp, bream, rudd, roach, tench, perch and eels. Bussow is one of our only reservoirs where you can drive around and park behind the swim, meaning it allows for great disability access.

Volunteers at Bussow are typically quick to notice any invasive non-native species at the reservoir, however biosecurity is very important for prevention. A dip tank was installed here in November 2023 to help improve biosecurity at the lake.

With one main driveway entrance to the reservoir used for parking, and people driving around the area to swims, it was important to install the dip tank somewhere easily accessible. The dip tank was installed in a layby after the entrance to the road around the lake, giving every visitor the opportunity to easily stop, dip their equipment and continue driving to the swim of their choice.

A huge thank you to the rangers and volunteers who helped make this possible!

Biosecurity advice 

Everyone can help us protect the lakes and the activities we enjoy by following some simple steps to keep your kit, footwear and clothing free of invasive plants and animals.

Always arrive at the lake with clean equipment and a clean vehicle. Whenever you leave the water, remember to:

Check your equipment, boat and clothing after leaving the water for mud, aquatic animals or plant material. Remove anything you find and leave it at the site.

Clean everything thoroughly as soon as you can, paying attention to areas that are damp and hard to access. Use hot water if possible.

Dry everything for as long as possible (ideally 48 hours) before using elsewhere as some invasive plants and animals can survive for two weeks in damp conditions.