Advocate 20/7

New Season New License July 1

The Fishery Management team at DOC are to be congratulated for the licensing system implemented. Digital technology has so improved the effort required to acquire a license. There are refinements that need to be made but it is a huge advance on the old system.

It is good to know that there is no change to fees for the new season.

A Close Call

Heather Macdonald, a past president of the Advocates for the Tongariro River lost one of her nine lives last Tuesday. Heather fishing the top of the Hydro Pool lost consciousness and floated face down to the lower Hydro where she was seen and pulled from the water Jen tells what happened once seen in the water through to today.

Jen Shieff wrote

“Very relieved and happy to be able to report Heather has not only regained consciousness but is phy.sically and mentally fine, except for her heart arrhythmia. The drug she’s  been on to control her heart rhythm since mid 2018 needs a big smack. 

She has no recollection.of what happened but Waikato ICU say it wasn’t a slip and fall. She did not hit her head. Her heart went out of rhythm, her blood pressure dropped and she lost consciousness. Her brain is intact.

Please let nobody avoid the Hydro Pool because of what happened to Heather there.

Heather was moved out of ICU last night onto a cardiac ward. She’ll have a heart ultrasound and angiogram over the next few days. Probably home Wed or Thurs. 

Please circulate this message as widely as you like. I want the world to know about the heroism of fishing guide Ken Drummond who waded out 25m into the Hydro Pool current to pull her out after Bob South noticed she wasn’t a log but Heather floating face down. Their speed and skill saved her life, particularly Ken’s 150 compressions under guidance from his client Sue, a nurse. How lucky was that.   

Although Heather was unconscious after that and needed a ventilator from riverbank until 11am yesterday (24 hours) it was their swift capable action that saved her. 

The paramedics,  Pihanga Health’s doctor Kitty and other staff, fire service, St John’s, Police,  chopper pilots (Turangi – Taupo then Taupo-Waikato) and the utterly brilliant ICU team at Waikato Hospital all continued the life-saving process. Skill, kindness, excellent communication at every step.

Thanks too to Didymo Dave and Ann Velvin for offering  to search for Heather’s rod. And to Ann for giving up her beanie. Heather was extremely cold and the paramedics were searching for a head covering when Ann showed up.

A completely unbelievable experience with an outcome that’s nothing short of miraculous.

Thanks to all for messages of support and concern.  It’s helped hugely.


Taupo Fishing Advisory Committee (TFAC)

What is this committee? I was surprised to learn that few anglers have knowledge of TFAC. This committee is the voice of the angler. It is a statutory body defined in the Taupo Fishery Regulations 2004. Reprint as at 3 February 2020. It is the equivalent of Fish and Game Council but for Taupo Fishery only.

31 Functions of Committee

The functions of the Committee are—

(a) to advocate Taupo sport fishing interests:
(b) to facilitate communication between the Department and anglers:
(c) to keep anglers informed on matters affecting their interests:
(d) to foster ethical standards of angling behaviour:
(e) to consider and advise the Department on freshwater and sport fishing matters within the Taupo District:
(f) to make any representations that it sees fit to the Minister, or to the Department or any other government agency or other organisation, on matters affecting the Taupo Fishery, including national and regional policy statements, management strategies, and management plans:
(g) to liaise with the New Zealand Fish and Game Council on matters of mutual interest relating to sports fish.

Committee members receive reports from DOC Fishery and present the concerns of anglers to DOC Fishery management for consideration

Graham Whyman (Sporting Life) has served as Chairman for more than 15 years and has given notice of his resignation. Graham has been an excellent Chirperson and represented the Taupo angling community well. He deserves the thanks of all anglers.

Key points from the lengthy meeting related to closing Lake Otamangakau (Lake O) for periods during summer and the issue of catch and release in the fishery. A study of catch and release shows high mortality of released fish. The cause is identified as stress from the time taken to land the fish 9the longer to lnd the greater the stress) and the high summer water temperature. The use of barbless hooks was discussed but was a lesser factor than time played and water temperature. The proposal is that the lake be closed to angling on very hot days (maybe 2-7 days) at a time. Signs woukd be posted on the two entance roads to the lake advising this possibility and anglers would need to check DOC website to know if the lake is open or closed before going bto the lake..

The quality and size of fish have made this year excellent as these photos show,

First time trout fishing. First trout ever. 6lb.
Todays catch 30/6/20 of Gary Brown and Paul Brennan

Committee Meeting June 27.6.2020

Carl Bergstrom

The committee is pleased to advise that

we have co-opted Carl Bergstrom to the


The committee met on last Saturday and met with John Gibbs, the Walking Access Commission, Regional Field Advisor Bay of Plenty, South Waikato and Taupo. Access i n acknowledged issue in the Taupo fishery.

We also met with Rod Edwards of Waikato Regional Council, Taupo office to discuss the operation of the WRC through its new committee structure. In Advocate 19/2 Regional Councils were to set objectives fot the state of fresh water bodies in their regions. develop The National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management 2020 provides local authorities with updated direction on how they should manage freshwater under the Resource Management Act 1991. Tongriro River has been labelled “pristine” and the Council has some very problem waters in its area.

Much of Blog 19/2 is of interest with regard to the content of this Blog.

From our AGM we agreed to ask for view shafts of the river. I am pleased to report that Dave Lumley, DOC Turangi, has asked that we show where we would like these to be located. A starting point is that where there are seats overlooking the river we be able to see the river

Its all a matter of keeping up with the changes to protect this catchment.


Eric Wilson