How come New Zealand and overseas anglers have this world-famous trout fishery where the only management plan is for flood protection?
Why is there no catchment management plan?
Why is there nothing to protect environmental, recreational or any other interests and values?
Why is there is no plan or requirement to acknowledge or recognize these interests or values?
Doc is lumbered with the trout management in the Tongariro River yet regard trout as the possum of the rivers.
Make no mistakes - DoC work for Tuwharetoa and if it wasn’t for the agreement with Tuwharetoa trout would be non-existent.
Tuwharetoa appear to be arming themselves to take over the river and its fishery – look what’s happened at the Tongariro Trout Centre.
According to report from Turangi locals, Tuwharetoa plan to invest huge amounts of money into the National Trout Centre facility by building a hotel, with exclusive fishing for overseas tourists, in fish only ponds. They have changed the rules and the original Trust has been changed so decision making and agreement is difficult for the volunteers who set up the Trust.
Is this what is behind the apparent destruction of the fishery?
Certainly the hierarchy and the politics from the senior management on DoC is disgusting. They shouldn’t be allowed to manage the fishery whatsoever.
Tuwharetoa insisted on the appointment of a Maori DoC manager hence Kim Turia being appointed on behalf of Tuwharetoa. She had no fishery knowledge or skills in this area.
The Tongariro River or “T” is a globally famous river of significant national interest with regards the world famous brown and rainbow trout fishery which has a particular aura about it and tourism value. This river brings in many overseas anglers and its tourism potential must be enhanced not destroyed.
The recent gravel works are a prime example of DoC’s and Waikato Regional Councils incompetence with poor consultation. The two organisations bought into the flood protection guise but didn’t seek responses from other angling clubs even though many were known to them.
The WRC have recognized their failure in broader consultation as few people outside of Turangi knew of the proposed works.
Had other organisations had input the works may not have gone ahead.
The kind of mentality which says that if there’s a bend it needs to be straightened out and widened; rather than using their brains and seeking advice that would enhance the river significantly.
Engineers have straightened rivers around the world with a complete disregard for the value of the environment. Interestingly the WRC did not offer any alternative but there any many.
It doesn’t take much to enhance this fishery but with a lack of imagination and insensitivity it could be destroyed rather quickly.
When you consider the Bridge Pool which is probably the most popular trout fishing pool in New Zealand and the pool below would be the second most popular, providing easy access, and good fishing.
To take this out of action by diverting the water flow into a straight canal shows the complete disregard for the fishery.
Rather than use deflection with groynes and thereby creating trout holding areas the WRC have created a sterile run which the fish will still go up as they have no choice, but have destroyed the habitat.
The WRC says it was necessary for flood protection and to protect the stop bank from being damaged and undermined. Really.
Does the Council really believe that they have enough power to control what the water does? Water is highly unpredictable.
Locals cannot understand why they pushed loose aggregate from the centre island in the river under the stopbank when they must have known that this loose highly volatile material will most likely wash away with the next serious flood and clog up the river further down creating a worse hazard to the town.
They forget that this river is a very important river of significant historical interest and an
‘must do’ destination for anglers’ worldwide.
If you are going to deploy machinery use a little bit of imagination and create something that would hold fish and attract fishermen. Fish holding fish friendly features rather than a straight canal.
There are places where intervention is necessary but proper decent consultation is paramount and it would be a win win for every one instead of the WRC and DoC being regarded as a vandals.
Look what the river down to Delatours where gravel has been extracted. The river is pretty much stuffed, sure you can catch trout there but it is not the river it once was.
Two big issues were lack of consultation and timing of the works.
There are more than enough people available that would be prepared to work with Council to create something spectacular.
The whole thing is of course, an exercise in futility. We don't know who advises WRC, but anyone with a brain between their ears should be able to figure out that, given the huge quantities of water that can come down the Tongariro in winter storms and the power that can generate, as long as the river is making a right hand turn just above the bridge, it will continue to erode the right hand bank below the bridge (looking downstream), before swinging left. It is what rivers do, gulp, surprise!
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