Thursday Update 12/26

Fishing Report

I have taken a break from reporting, as I felt I was becoming negative. I am now happy to report that the situation has significantly improved. I have caught good fish lately and averaging 3lb (too old to have adjusted totally to metric but 3lb (pound) is 1.4kg). The fish are biting which is a pleasant experience. The number of  anglers has increased too. I hear reports of bigger fish  but haven’t seen a lot of evidence of this. I am told by Luke, a rafting operator that there are plenty of fish in the upper river. The last heavy rain seems to have brought the fish into the river. It would seem, though, that those who have found productive pools have done well, while others have found the fishing difficult. I still find it interesting to be fishing for running fish at this time of the year. In my earlier experience I would have given up river fishing for the season at this time of the year due to too many slabs being caught. The fishery has changed.

As a result of the lateness of the spawning run, I wonder what impact this will have on Lake fishing over the Christmas holiday period.

River Works

I have put the Waikato Regional Council flood plan works on our front page. While it is a draft document I have been given permission to have this available to readers. The photo on our Facebook page ( accessed by clicking on the blue F logo in the right hand bottom of the home page) shows the cleared area to be grassed this year and planted with indigenous plants next year.

Lawrie Donald wrote in July to say:

Please find attached the Draft Management Plan for Floodway Maintenance for this year. 

If you have been on the river recently you will see that some of this work has been started. The reasoning is that the current works are within existing Tongariro River consent activities and permitted activity within the Waikato Regional Council’s Land and Water Plan. The urgency in the activity is to lower the floodplain at cross section 3 to ensure that the design freeboard for the design stopbanks is maintained to the 100year flood protection. Our modelling based on recent surveys has indicated that unless the floodplain is lowered through this section of the river the design flood protection scheme freeboard may be compromised.


The new consents gained are comprehensive consents allowing for a range of activities (Nos 121305 and 121306 attached as Appendix 1 to the document attached) in condition 38 of these consents is the requirement to consult with nominated groups who requested at the Environment Court hearing to be part of this consultation.

I have included as many of the interested parties who expressed interest at the Environment Court hearing in this email. Your input would be appreciated.

The removal of the willows through the floodway done last year has, as indicated by our modelling, improved the floodway efficiency.  While this site still resembles a bombsite it is anticipated that the completed works will result in a much more pleasant experience for those visiting the river. The cleared floodway will be managed as an area free of willows and other trees and shrubs and be dominated by indigenous flora such as toitoi once a full season of vegetation control and establishment has occurred.

Tongariro River Integrated Catchment Plan (TRICMP)

A couple of years ago I was hopeful that a TRICMP would be achieved. At the last meeting of the Tongariro River Forum, Maria Nepia, Chairperson of Ngati Turangitukua Charitable Trust committee announced that the Trust committee would work with stakeholders to bring about a TRICMP. The Trust has finances to do this work, has the support of the Ngati Tuwharetoa Maori Trust Board and certainly the support o Advocates for the Tongariro River.

I am aware of some of the angler feeling about the flood plain work. I am also aware of the feelings of Turangi residents after the 2004 flood wanting protection from flooding. These are just two views. I would have to add to this list the feeling by some about the wilding pine issue and even the planting of indigenous plants on the river margins. A TRICMP has a better opportunity of having a much greater consensus, with better understanding of the issues.

Tongariro Crossing

Mount Tongariro’s eruption earlier in the month has had a major implication on the Tongariro Crossing which remains closed, but is the major tourist attraction in the central North Island. There has been considerable damage to the track. It has meant that a lot of DoC staff are on the mountain trying to accommodate those wishing to walk Mt Tongariro. Dave Lumley, DoC area manager announced on Monday evening that the track from Mangatepopo access point to Red Cater will be open from tomorrow, but do check with DoC first that they have achieved this date. Check the DoC website for information.

Tongariro River Trail

We are anxious to open the completed loop of the Tongariro River Trail on Saturday 20th October. The track building has slowed due to Mt Tongariro activity explained above, taking the workforce from the DoC section of the trail to the mountain, but the target date can be met. A key issue is to have interim signage in place. Plans have been developed but some of the larger signs will take time to produce.

Other factors of concern are the redevelopment of the entrance to Turangi town and the redevelopment of the car park at the Tongariro National Trout Centre, both of which are part of the Tongariro River Trail.

Eric Wilson