Advocate 23/7

Website and Video

We have placed the video of the Helicopter flight on the front page of our website. We will shortly add a piece to explain the reason for the video.

Fishing report

I asked anglers their opinion of the year’s fishing experience and they were all very happy with the results this year, though some thought last year slightly better.

Tonight I attended Tongariro Fishing Advisory Committee (TFAC) meeting. The technical report presented verifies that fish in 2022 were slightly bigger in weight and length,  but fish this year had a slightly better average Condition Factor. An excellent season again.

The alarming issue is that of Golden Clams.

I wrote in an earlier blog about Golden Clams with photo. I found myself totally naive about the real danger represented by Golden Clams.

Gold Clams. The size of a 20c coin. I had not heard of Wake boats or Wakeboard boats. I knew that Golden Clams were very invasive but not why. I asked Matt Osborne of Fish and Game why are they such a danger? He told me that the Golden Clam, asexual, can spit out a mouthful (hundreds) of sand sized baby clams that can coat a river or lake bottom very quickly to the detriment of other life in that environment. They have been in a section of the Waikato River for 2 years and there is little hope of eliminating them from that section. But they can be contained with every boaties diligences.

Ministry of Primary Industries has put out a directive

New biosecurity measures for Waikato River

The email reads:


[email protected]

Last reviewed: 23.11.23

A new biosecurity rule for wake boats used on a stretch of the Waikato River comes into effect tomorrow in a bid to prevent the spread of the freshwater gold clam pest into other areas.

“The new rule, introduced through a mechanism under the Biosecurity Act called a Controlled Area Notice (CAN), affects all wake boats using the stretch of the Waikato River from the Whakamaru Dam down to the river mouth at Port Waikato,” says Biosecurity New Zealand director of readiness and response, John Walsh.

“Wake boats that have been on this controlled stretch must not be used in any other waterways including other parts of the Waikato River outside the controlled area. The CAN comes into effect at 11.59pm on Friday 24 November 2023.”

Wake boats are any craft with an internal tank or bladder that cannot be completely drained.

“Wake boats present a higher risk of transmitting the freshwater gold clam as there is currently no known reliable method of cleaning the internal tanks and bladders,” says Mr Walsh.

“Biosecurity New Zealand is investigating whether a reliable cleaning method can be developed. If so, the special requirements for wake boats will be reviewed.”

The CAN also means all recreational river users that have been in the controlled stretch of the river must continue to follow existing clam-specific Check, Clean, Dry requirements for any craft, gear (such as fishing and other equipment used to gather kai) and equipment (including water skis, wakeboards, and inflatable pool toys).

Clam-specific Check, Clean, Dry requirements

“Extensive surveillance shows that we are successfully stopping the spread of the clam. CANs are a critical tool in our ongoing efforts to protect our waterways. This new CAN replaces and strengthens the existing measures that are in place for the Waikato River and adds to the biosecurity rules we’ve put in place for Te Arawa lakes in the Bay of Plenty recently,” says Mr Walsh.

To support the clam-specific Check, Clean, Dry requirements of the CAN, Biosecurity New Zealand has established a permanent wash station at Mighty River Domain, Lake Karāpiro. A mobile wash station is also being funded, which can be moved as needed to events and busy locations along the Waikato River.

Signs outlining the new CAN requirements are being installed along the river at about 70 different locations. These should all be in place by Sunday.

We thank Fish & Game New Zealand, Wakeboarding New Zealand, local and regional councils, and our iwi partners for their ongoing support and assistance with implementing these protections against the clam.

More information about the clam and the biosecurity measures

A visit to Pihanga Health, Turangi

I had reason to have stitches removed during the week.

This board, with some of the flies extracted from patients, has interested me. On occasions at the surgery someone is waiting with a fly in their ear or in their cheek awaiting a Dr or Nurse  to extract the offending fly painlessly, which causes sympathy or a suppressed laugh by those in attendance at the unfortunate victim.I was occasionally asked, at the river,  if I could extract a fly that was embedded in some exposed part of an angler and initially, with pliers on my pocket knife, I could extract a fly – causing a spurt of blood and a yelp from the victim and for me the easing of my conscience was that it saved a visit to the Doctor. But there are ways to extract a fly which I wrote about in one of my first blogs.

The process is quite simple.

  1. Double a length of trace. Perhaps half a meter.
  2. Put doubled trace through the gape of the hook
  3. Put and press finger on the eye of the hook.
  4. Pull hook out with the length of trace that has been threaded throught gape of the hook.

The technique enables the hook to slide out of the track of entry without the barb catching.  Saves you a visit to the Dr and a cost.

Gone Fishing

This droll freshwater fishing programme now on TV1  has been on British TV for the last 6 years. I watched  and enjoyed the programme. The popularity for it in Britain is that it emphasises the reason we fish and the pleasure we get from it.


Thankyou to all who participated in our new Constitution. Thankyou for pointing out the mistakes in the proposed constitution. We have set up a group to finalise the document mistake free.

Grant Henderson

We  were pleased to have Grant Henderson, author of Fishing The Tongariro, at our last committee meetings. We were treated to some interesting asides learned from his research for the book. Zane Grey was one very interesting character talked about.

A bit of History

Barry Keane stayed with us recently. His wife has the photograph album of Jim Rutherford, and he sent me photographs of Jim with his tank crew during 1940’s at Waiouru. For a training exercise they had taken the tanks cross country to fish the Tongariro River. Jim was a Major in the Queen Alexandra Tank Regiment. The photos were prior to posting overseas.

Jim claims that they created the early river trails on the Tongariro River using the Army tanks.

Jim Rutherford taking a breather from tank training WW2 on the Tongariro River.









Jim Rutherford and crew fishing the Tongariro. In summer army uniform. No waders.

Christmas New Year Greetings.

On behalf of the Committee, I wish you Seasons Greetings and a great 2014.

Eric Wilson