A massive weed invasion wasn't enough to stop the enormously popular take-a-kid-fishing event from going ahead at The Groynes in Christchurch yesterday.
Thanks to a huge effort over the past two months to rid the ponds of the unwanted visitor, thousands were able to enjoy their first taste of fishing.
Christchurch City Council ranger Robbie Hewson said, "So far as we know The Groynes is the only place in Christchurch where this weed has been present".
The authorities, including Fish and Game, are determined to stop the lagrosiphon major in its tracks before it spreads to other bodies of water.
"This weed is so smothering in the water. It's been near-impossible to fish in lakes, one and two which are the prime spots," Mr Hewson said.
The noxious plant has been chemically treated, and 100 cubic metres of it has been torn out of the smallest lake alone, making it fit for the onslaught of kids with lines at the ready.
"If a fish is on the line, it goes num num num num. It might even pull you in if it’s a big fish," one man could be heard saying to a child.
The weed eradication is also proving to be a very popular move with the regulars.
"I've been fishing in here for about 25 years. In fact, I learnt to fish in here. It's a really good spot, so I think cleaning it up is a great idea," one local said.
Around 820 rainbow trout were put into the ponds as part of the event – and big ones, too.
Six-year-old Lucas can certainly vouch for their size.
"I was feeling, like, brave and I wanted, like, to really hold it," he said.
The pile of weed will gradually break down completely, with the project expected to continue another nine months to ensure it won't be coming back.