Dear Advocate members and interested readers.
It has been a while since I brought you up to date with matters affecting the river and is catchment.
I know that there are fish in the river and those that have caught fish are pleased with the quality of the fish. Unfortunately for me I have not had a lot of success though on the occasions I have ventured out, other anglers I met share the same fate. It was a full moon this evening when I went out at 4.30pm. Apart from 3 anglers leaving from the Bain carpark I saw no other anglers on the river down to the Jones Pool. For my sins I had one touch. Earlier in the afternoon I walked from the Hydro to the Judges Pool. There were 3 anglers in the Hydro, 1 at the Birches Pool, 1 at the top of the Island Pool and 1 at Judges Pool. Not a lot of angling Pressure. The morning started with heavy rain which continued until noon when it cleared. The flow rate was up a bit but the water was clear. It would seem that it is still early days.
Yesterday I had a discussion with Rowan Sapsford about the Fishery Review. Rowan tells me that the draft review was sent to the Minister an Tuesday of this week and that the report will hopefully be available in the first half of June. We keenly await the release of the report as the discussion in late December with interested anglers had a lot of interesting ideas to put up for consideration.
Department of Conservation.
Downsizing continues and a very small workforce of 14 will remain in Turangi. One can only feel for the staff not knowing whether as a result of restructuring whether they will keep their jobs. The pity for us is that we have worked to develop a good relationship with DOC and with them moving the majority of staff, it will make our dealings with staff a little more difficult.
Waikato Regional Council
Our local councillor on the WRC Board, Laurie Burdett, is stepping down at the coming council elections later this year. Laurie has been a conscientious councillor and represented us well. She was encouraging, supportive and willingly gave her time. A a committee we have the greatest respect for Laurie and what she has done representing us. From my term on the Taupo Liaison Committee of WRC I have grown to appreciate the enormity of the job they have. I hope that she can use her immense energy to her advantage in the future and wish her the best.
We participated in the deliberations on river work consents a couple of years ago and have maintained a watching brief on the work done and to be done. This has seen the removal of willows and the carving of a new channel from the area of the braids to the Reed. Gravel removal was to occur in the area of the braids and an area was prepared for this last year. Lawrie Donald informs me that gravel removal is no longer necessary as the work done to date is for flood protection of the town and their modelling shows Turangi is at this time protected from a 1500 cumec flood. They still have maintenance of cleared willows to deal with and their consent is for the river from the Hydro to just short of the delta mouths.
The Tongariro River Trail
The trail is getting good use and is regarded as an asset for Turangi. DOC is in the process of improving the trail on the true right and have upgraded the standard of the track from the Red Hut bridge to the area of the track to the Stag pool. I find the trail is a very good walk or bike ride and recommend it to you all if you have not been round the trail.
The Annual General Meeting.
Dr Crosbie stepped down as President and now becomes Immediate Past President. Stuart brought clear guidelines for us to consider. Our meetings used the latest technology which kept us focussed. We were lucky to have Stuart as President and in his term we achieved a significant amount of work. Fortunately we do not lose him from the committee.
Neville Young was elected the new President. Neville will bring a different approach but he has a wealth of experience in chairing committees and we are pleased at his election. Gary Brown is the Deputy President. Tony Charlton and Jeffrey Bennett leave the committee. New committee members are Jen Shieff, Walter Freitag and Kent Price. As stated in our Annual report a major task ow is a PhD study on the food chain and in particular the link between phytoplasm zooplankton and smelt are crucial to our understanding of trout. Good fish need good food. A press release should be made soon on this matter.
Thank you to all who have renewed ther membership for 2013. Our membership is valued and if your membership has slipped your mind we would appreciate receiving your subscriptions, The strength of our voice is the size of our membership.
Since the drought finished we have had significant rain. Lake Taupo still remains low and it has been some time since the river has been in flood. The stony river bottom is slippery and needs to be waded with care.
I am aware of the value of photos in a blog. I need to get my camera renewed.