We have had heavy rain overnight judging by the ” lake” that has formed on my property in Turangi.

An email from Bay of Plenty Civil Defence advises of heavy rain forecast for Waikato and western Bay of Plenty today. I think it is of little account for Turangi but this could be a dangerous prediction by me. The current flow rate of the Tongariro River is 38.4 cubic meters per second. It has been a wet month and the ground water level is high keeping the flow rate high.

As I get older I find the river downstream of the SH1 bridge is kinder to my ability to wade. A recent visit to the Hydro pool, with its rocky bottom, was difficult to wade – a different story to 40 years go when I would wade with only a couple of centimeters to the top of my waders. Artificial joints don’t help either.

It has been a good fishing season to date as I reflect on the downturn of the previous years compared with this year.

Are their tools that could help maintain the Taupo fishery as the best, or in the top 10 trout fisheries, in the world?

One point from the document “Exploring Future Opportunities For The Tongariro Fishery May 2013” (on our website, Library, Key documents) was the need for quicker change to the Taupo fishery regulations (see Page 9 D 4) which currently need to go through parliamentary process and therefore takes a long time. It is a known fact that the mass (i.e. total weight) of  trout in Taupo is one tenth of the mass of Taupo Smelt, and that Smelt are one tenth of Zooplankton which is one tenth of the mass of Phytoplankton. If there is a problem in any part of the food chain then trout will have less food to sustain them. Under such circumstances it would be valid to have an ability to change the catch limit to remove a greater number of trout from the Taupo system. This may have a limited impact due to another fact that 10% of anglers catch 90% of the fish. Another factor could be more anglers practising catch and realease when a policy as practised in Germany would be that you take the fish caught and not release fish landed.

The recent improvement in the size and quality of fish would suggest that there is now a balance in the food chain which was missing. The elements in the food chain are studied annually by DOC so that if there is a decline in a part of the food chain the bag limit could be quickly changed. In some countries the bag limit changes on a monthly basis rather than an annual rate.

The Artful Science of Trout Fishing by John Hayes and Les Hill explains in Chapter 7,  page 151 “Lakes are dynamic environments in which temperature and oxygen conditions vary seasonally and have a dominant influence on trout and their prey.” In Taupo a key dynamic influence is the mixing of surface water with water at the bottom of the lake. This mixing is a crucial part of the food chain in that when the lower cold water is brought to the surface it stimulates the food chain.  It has happened in the last decade that the mixing of water has not occurred or has partially occurred. Cold winters (such as we have had this year) are ideal for mixing the water and augers well for a productive food chain which will influence the size and quality of Smelt and increase Trout size and quality.

These factors, among others, are known to the lake scientists, and the ability to change bag limits according to the scientific data can influence the food chain and in its place the size and quality of  Trout leading to a more satisfying fishing experience.

I am told that anglers from some parts of the world (NSW, Australia) are not impressed by photos of anglers with dead fish. Is it this attitude that encourages catch and release? Is it that you can only eat so many fish and that the enjoyment of catching fish is greater than taking 3 fish and finish for the day?

Breaking into anglers’ vehicles.

A friend told me that on Sunday two vehicles at TALTAC had windows broken and vehicles were entered. This happens far more regularly at all carparks around the river than you would think. As a Turangi local it is very disappointing. The only advice I can give is that nothing is left in view within your locked vehicle that would attract car thieves (Wallets, Rods, Laptops etc) and where possible to not have any valuables in your vehicle, seen or not seen. Secondly, phone 111 if you find your vehicle interfered with or if you see individuals or groups that cause you concern.

Waikato Regional Council (WRC) meeting.

Since 2004 WRC staff have met stakeholders in the Tongariro River Catchment to discuss the Tongariro River at what was called the Tongariro River Forum. WRC produce an annual plan of work which is on this website in Library, key documents for the last two years. Todd Baldwin River Works manager with WRC sent this email:


Further to recent email (below) and draft works plan.

The Tongariro River works plan consultation meeting will be held at 10am, Wednesday 16th September 2015 at the Senior Citizens Hall  in Turangi.

Please pass this on to anyone who may be interested in attending.  



I look forward to meeting you on the 16th September.


We welcome new members and members who have maybe forgotten to pay their 2-15 subs. A subscription form is on our website, Menu button Membership.

We appreciate having you as a member.

Eric Wilson