Advocate 21/5


I have been very conscious that I have written few blogs this year and ask myself why. In summary it is a result of getting older, frustration at not achieing self imposed goals, other activities on my bucket list to be achieved which compete with the time I have.

Early this year I received an email from a member who told that he had to give up fishng the Tongariro because of the boulders. I know exactly what he meant. Once they were not a concern. I was bullet proof. Not so today. I am very cautious. The result is that I don’t go to the river with the enthusiasm I once did.

There are a number of blogs now on the Tongariro River. They are from Tackle shops and guides and others with an interest in the river. From the start I was encouraged by the received comments that said the value of your blog is that it is an individuals report rather than trying to foster anglers to come to Turangi when the fishing is not great.

Frustration has come through the didfficulty to get things done, view shafts from the Tongariro River Trail taking a long time for action, enthusiasm from authoritiesvlacking for restoring the view of Lake Taupo from the 2 lookouts on the Waihi hill, the no entry sign outside the Tongariro Lodge on the WRC stopbank the management practice of not answering calls leaving a message and the recipient then deciding whether they will call back, the occasinal experience of people with no appreciation of angling ettiquette, the annual flood protection scheme having such limited success over the lat 5 years despite the best efforts of staff.

Ageing created a couple of issues. Two falls on steps around the river both on the true right, the steps just downstream from the Red Hut bridge, the other overlooking the Hydro Pool where the Mangamawhitiwhiti joins the Tongariro that caused me to seek a full medical and a recurrence of Polymyalgia.

Despite all of this I loved the challenge of fishing the Tongariro River and being involved in having a voice on matters. Furthermore there is hope and good signs of hope.

                                  Sign moved.                                       

                                                                                                          The signage on the stopbank on the riverside of Tongariro Lodge.

The sign has been shifted to the halfway point, the legitimate boundary of Tongariro Lodge property. The boundary was re surveyed and the marker pegs show this. There is a reasonable access track to the river from Te Herekiekie street and there is a track from the Bain Car Park though I don’t think much of the short board over water on the track as it leads to the river but they exist and I should be content with that. A reason given for that action was those walking their dogs did not pick up dog excrement dropped on the manicure lawn. This was an argument given me re the Waihi hill lookout, in this case humans whipping into the bushes to relieve themselves. I accept tat is a problem. How do we change attitudes?

The small white sign to the right of the angler is the new location.


Meeting with WRC staff re Proposed Annual Works Programme

Last week I, Virginia Church and Alasdair Keucke met with Grant Blackien and Itti Nikolao of Waikato Regional Council. Grant based in Hamilton is responsible with his team for the management of all rivers in the WRC region, Itti has taken Allan Kirks role as manager of rivers in the Taupo office. We discussed the Annual Plan for 2021-22 and gave our support fo this work.

The work plan can be read on our website:      Library, Key documents

It is important that the objective is a flood protection scheme and not to enhance the fishing experience. I would say that fallen trees in the river can be a problem in times of flood.

I enjoyed hearing Simon Stewart, now of the Cawthron Institute, on National Radio a while back and on TV3. the The project, about the same time taling about thegreen carpet mat being found in pristine waters including areas of Lake Taupo and around the world. This algae is making a nuiance of itself wherever it has been found.

I have fished a little lately but not very successfully. Each time I have seen fish caught and thought they looked good fish’

Change is always with us. Sporting Life and Creel Tackle and Cafe hve changed hands,

We have had two floods in the last 3months. in June the river ran at 221 m3/s and this month at 421 m3/s and is marginally up today at 32 m3/s. Despite reports saying that this is a warm winter I have found it a cold winter and accompanying the closure of the Desert Road there was a very slight snowfall in Turangi.

The Kereru is back in my garden. The new season buds on the prunus and new leaves on the Kowhai are the attraction. 

Eric Wilson