The number of anglers on the river have reduced. Despite that there are still very good fresh run fish to be caught.
We appreciate all who have paid subscriptions to us this year. We realise how easy it is to miss a payment you would have paid. Our Treasurer is following up with those subscriptions still to be paid for this financial year. An email will be sent within 24 hours of receipt of his email to those still to pay. Our thanks in anticipation
I attended the Taupo Fishery Avisory Committee meeting on Fridy evening of the 26th October.
The committee comprises a representative of clubs and organisations with an interest in the Taupo Fishery. Representatives are appointed by the Government and Represent, Waitahanui Anglers, Taupo Fishing Club, TALTAC, Advocates for The Tongariro River, Motuoapa Boatin Club, The National Trout Centren Taupo Launcman’s Assocation, NZ Freshwater Angling Club, NZ Professional Guides Association and Fish and Game (Eastern).
Graham Whyman stepped down as Chairperson of the committee and Julian Proctor has replaced Graham. Graham was chairperson or some years and had a sound understanding of the fishery and its management. As proprietor of Sporting Life he listened to anglers and their concerns re the fishery. He was an asset to all anglers and for this we thank him as did the TFAC committee.
Julian is a member of both the Advocates and TALTAC and represents TALTAC on TFAC, Richard Kemp represents the Advocates.
Julian has a long association with the Taupo Fishery and a good knowledge of the issues. Julian represented us well before the select committee presenting our views on Conservation (Indigenous Freshwater Fish) Amendment Bill in February 2019.
Dave Conley, Fishery Manager, includes a report Taupo Fishery Up date and I include it here.
FROM: Dave Conley
RE: Taupō Fishery update
As we head into the second quarter of the current angling season it is looking like a very interesting year for several reasons. Initial estimates of the financial impacts of Covid 19 appear to be pessimistic, at least in the initial part of the season, as licence sales have been very strong over this time. What is not captured in the licence figures in Pete’s report is the position year on year from last year, and as of the end of September the Fishery was close to $100K in advance of the same time last year.
Unable to travel overseas, many kiwis appear to be turning to local opportunities, and the Taupō Fishery would appear to have seen a clear benefit from that. How that trend holds over the summer will be an important factor in whether the fishery meets its budgeted revenue targets for the year. As the Covid pandemic rolled through, the Fishery had the opportunity to flag our revenue risk to the wider department, and allowances have been made for significant revenue losses as an assurance against the risk of diminished services and staffing. It is encouraging that at this early stage at least, it is looking unlikely that this contingency will be needed, but the next quarter or two will be crucial.
The fishery itself continues to produce excellent fishing for well-conditioned fish, and all the data we are collecting continues to point towards encouraging signs for this trend to hold. Anecdotal evidence points to a healthy stock of maiden fish in the lake which are already presenting great fishing, and this will hopefully increase as the weather warms and the lake really fires up. The November round of acoustic monitoring will help firm up the picture for the coming summer too.
On other matters, the team has been working hard to get to grips with the new systems for dealing with Infringement notices. Infringements are best thought of more akin to a traffic infringement, and while they are not issued on the spot, they are a speedier way of resolving a compliance offence. As an example for background, prior to 2018 the only means of enforcing an offence of fishing without a licence was under 26Zi of the Conservation Act 1987 which makes it illegal to take sport fish without a licence (taking also means to fish for sports fish without a licence). This had to be disposed on in court.
The Conservation (Infringement System) Act 2018 introduced infringements into legislation, most pertinently 51C(1) Conservation Act 1987 which states;
51C Taking sports fish without licence
(1) A person must not take sports fish from any freshwater unless the person holds a licence under this Act that permits the taking of the fish.
In essence, what this means is that the department can take enforcement under 2 parts of the Conservation Act for the same offence. The department can still take an offence to court, but if circumstances permit it can be dealt with by way of an infringement fine.
However, The Conservation (Infringement System) Act 2018 required a huge amount of work to be done before Infringement Notices could be issued. The department’s ability to undertake enforcement under s.51C was not available until recently, as the training and systems etc needed to manage this process were not yet functional. The department went live with its Infringement system on September 7, 2020.
With the extra anglers around as has been evident since Covid changed things, access has become an even more pressing issue. The fishery team are making slow but steady progress
towards improvements to the network of access tracks, including the lower river and the Waiotaka. Further conversation on this will take place as a separate agenda item.
Lake Otamangakau continues to be a focus for the summer, and there is quite an amount of worked planned there over the coming months.
As discussed at the previous TFAC meeting, in the short term at least Regulation changes are not a preferred approach, due to several factors.
First, the season is already underway, and anglers have bought licences without being aware of possible closures. Ideally any regulation change should be flagged before the new season, rather than brought in part way through.
Secondly, timeframes are too short, with the timing of the election, to make regulation changes before the peak of summer. We also do not have sufficient information to make good regulation recommendations at this point either.
And finally, we still have some additional work to do to determine the point at which we would move to close the fishery in the event we decide to take that approach. We know that higher temperature is highly lethal to fish post release, but we do not have local evidence of the point at which the fishery should be restricted. It is vital we understand the point the temperature starts to make a significant difference to mortality, as this will be the key information in protecting fish stocks. So it’s just flagging we have some additional work to do this summer in terms of finalising the tipping point where temperature becomes a critical hazard to fish post release, just so we know with a deal of accuracy when to move from green/amber/red in terms of advisory information to anglers.
This will be in the form of several catch and release ‘experiments’ similar to what was run last year but aimed at the mid-season as the temperatures begin to climb.
We are also working to come up with a system to be able to display this temperature data to anglers in real time (or as close as practically possible) using a web based platform, which will help anglers make decisions armed with up to date information. Ideally, we will be able to put temperature loggers in the lake to feed temperature data back to a central point for sharing and have begun conversations with Genesis Energy to explore the possibility of having their help in collecting and transmitting this data.
As per James’ report it’s our intent to provide advisory information over the coming summer to anglers, communicated via web, social media and signage at place. This information will detail what we are seeing at the Lake and advising anglers as to what the appropriate response is, and then if necessary, we may look at introducing a regulation change if we feel angling behaviour warrants it.
We will be working closely with TFAC as we go on, so hopefully the information flows from there out to anglers, but by all means reach out if you have any questions.
Two other quick issues up at Lake O, access to the north arm has been closed to vehicles, but boat and pedestrian access remains. In response, the department is currently developing a new campsite next to Te Whaiau canal, complete with toilet, while other facilities are planned for the medium term. We are currently sorting out occupation licences with Genesis before work can commence, but it’s looking very positive for a camp to be ready for the Christmas peak.
Wilding Pines are one pest tree. Wilding pines include Douglas Fir, Contota, Pinus Radiata. Willows are another.
- May budget of 2020 committed $100million over 4 years to control wilding pines and conifers. The countries weed trees.
- It confirms that wilding conifers are NZ,s N0 1 weed priority.
- Losing 90,000 hectares a year to wilding conifers and thats compounding.
- The key is to get rid of the seed source.
- Wilding Pines can change our landscape”. Evelyn Forrest Envioronment Manager Ngati Tahu-NgatiWhaoaRunanga Trust.
NB the figures here are estimates over 50 yearas.
Toxic Algal Bloom warning issued for parts of Lake Taupo
Over night there has been a public health warning released by Toi te Ora- Public Health, advising recreational users to avoid certain areas presently along the eastern side of Lake Taupo. This is due to a toxic algal bloom that has presented in areas. The areas highlighted extend from Hatepe through to Motuoapa. However our guys were on the lake yesterday and have also noted a similar bloom at the Tongariro Delta.
The main advice is for recreational users to avoid coming into contact with the water where the algal blooms are presenting.
Further advice to for anglers taking trout as per information on the Toi to Ora website is –
‘Where there is an algal bloom in a lake, it seems unlikely that there is any risk from eating the flesh of trout but it’s very important to remove the gut and liver and wash in clean water first. Do not take or consume trout that are found already dead. Shellfish and kōura (freshwater crayfish) should not be eaten as would likely present a risk to health’
The following links provide the pertinent information-