Advocate 19/10


Flooding in the South Island reminds me that floods on the Tongariro River at this time of the year are common. Fortunately we have escaped this tempest this time though heavy rain (20mm) last night caused a very minor rise in water level from 24 to 32 cms. Best of all it is calm and sunny as I write this.

Fishing Report

I commented to Michel Dedual and Dave Conly (DOC Fishery team) that it had been a great fishing year on the Tongariro River. Michel corrected me. Great quality fish he said but the numbers through the Waipa trap were down on previous years. I had some memorable occasions where fish attached to my line at every second cast.

On hot sunny days the Locusts are out and in song. Brown trout are starting to enter the river and a few are being caught. Spawning trout are still in the river and an occasional good fish is being caught in its attempt to get upstream.

The lake remains high and my experience (limited this year) is that the fishing is hard. I am told that jigging has been effective and that smelt is observed in good number in some areas.

Aquatic Pests

I realise as I get older how important it is to leave this world in a better state than I came into it. As a Turangi resident I appreciate the wonderful environment we have. A magnificent river filling a magnificent lake with majestic mountains to the south, the ranges to the east, native bush with a hint of how it was, make me realise how necessary it is to look after it. From time to time there are pest incursions. Some are microscopic such as Lake Snot that is now here. Some are in the country and very fortunately not here such as Didymo. Some are the result of human action and not thinking through the consequences, such as the release of catfish some years ago, probably by someone not wanting their aquarium species any longer and thinking they would have a better life released into the lake – not considering the impact that would have on lake life. The same occurred with Spider turtles in the warm water from the Wairakei Geothermal station. Oxygen weed most likely came from an aquarium.

It was therefore disappointing to learn that someone had probably emptied their aquarium goldfish into a drain that accessed Lake Taupo, at Tokaanu. Nice for those fish. Bad for the Lake environment. If you see such an incident phone the DOC Fishery duty ranger 0272907758,

The signs are excellent at boat ramps clearly showing the problems. Wash facilities are there as well.

Waikato Regional Council (WRC)

The Local Body elections has seen former Hamilton Mayor Russ Rimmington chosen as the new Chairperson of WRC.

Kathy White is our representative on the Council.

Russ Rimmington is quoted in the Taupo Times 29.10.19 saying “the council had paid lip service to the global and environmental challenges before it… It’s no longer about rates. it’s about wellbeing and the environment.”

The committee structure of council has been changed. There are 4 new committees: Freshwater Action, Climate Action, Infrastructure and special projects, and Regional Connections. “Freshwater remains the number one environmental issue for Waikato residents and is a priority for Central Government.” The WRC Logo prioritises clean air and water. We shall wait and see how this will play out.

I am hopeful that the work planned for the summer will now proceed.

Year End Matters

As 2019 winds to a conclusion we have constitutional matters to attend to. We are fortunate to have a strong committee but at least one member is standing down. If you would be able to commit time to the committee it would be much appreciated if you would put your name forward. We meet 4 or 5 times a year and deal with issues between meetings by email.

It is important that we maintain an up todate database that enables you to be informed of matters of concern. We appreciate notification when you change your email address, phone number, residential address.

As members you are valued and we thank you for your support.

We would like to increase our membership and see the strongest way to achieve this is to ask each member to get another person with an interest in the Tongariro River and its catchment to join the Advocates.

I finish by wishing you a Merry Christmas and a Happy and Prosperous New Year.

Eric Wilson