During excavations: 16 April 2018
April 27 2018
If this was just any other pool on the Tongariro or elsewhere, it may not be so important, but this is the most popular trout pool in New Zealand. The location immediately adjoining SH1 is also the most visible to the public. So anglers and other locals are watching with special interest.
This development is supposed to be part of wider “flood protection measures”. Anglers feedback has been mixed from mild bewilderment to hostile. They keep asking how these most recent earthworks are supposed to prevent flooding? Ever since the last BIG flood in February 2004 the stop banks have protected Turangi preventing the river over flowing. The real danger is the high Lake Taupo level creating a hydro dam causing wide back up from the delta. Anglers suggest the only practical way to prevent future flooding from that is to lower the lake level.
(The level was originally raised when the Taupo Control Bridge was installed across the only lake outlet many years ago and flooded many small settlements like Tokaanu, etc. and created swamps where pasture or market gardens used to be on the lower Tongariro)
Anglers suggest the next decent flood will decide nature’s preferred flow. Precedents include various pools lost forever. Remember the Breakaway Pool? The Bends Pool? The Lonely Pool?
(Reminder to SWMBO – check TRM’s flood insurance…)
On April 13 DOC reported:
River management work is now well underway on the Tongariro River – Waikato Regional Council (WRC) contractors are working on flood prevention measures directly below the SH1 bridge, which is understandably attracting the attention of trout anglers.
From a fly-fishing perspective, the Taupo Fishery Management Team along with the Taupo Fishery Advisory Committee and the Tongariro and Lake Taupo Anglers Club, were involved in a consultation process aimed at reducing the impact of this work on trout fishing. The process highlighted the needs of anglers and trout and opened the door to ongoing community liaison.
While the initial work appears quite destructive, it is worth noting that WRC managers are adopting a phased approach, where later phases will reintroduce and maintain angler friendly features which have the capacity to hold trout. In the short term, safe trout passage has been maintained and sediment release has been minimised by working in dry conditions.
It must be remembered this important gravel management work serves to protect vulnerable areas of the town and the surrounding area by reducing the risk of severe flooding – further detail provided in a previous Facebook post (29 March 2018).
NOTICE TO ANGLERS and recreational users of the Lower Tongariro River. The Waikato Regional Council (WRC) will commence gravel management works within the area immediately down-river of SH1 Bridge on Thursday 05 April. The works are expected to last for two weeks. Preliminary vegetation removal is already underway.
During high flow events the Tongariro River deposits large amounts of gravel in this zone. As a consequence the river bed has risen in places increasing erosion potential of the river bank and flood scheme assets. The objective of this gravel management work is to encourage a stable main channel and a more even distribution of flow down existing channels, therefore relieving pressure and increasing flood scheme capacity.
A period of consultation was undertaken with key stakeholders, which included representatives from the angling community – DOC Fishery Management Team, Taupo Fishery Advisory Committee and Tongariro and Lake Taupo Anglers Club. This involved site field trips, meetings and discussions. Resulting considerations include an appreciation for high value locations, fish habitat and access.
Measures put in place include…
– Restricted working hours 8am-6pm Mon-Sat.
– Maintain access where practically possible.
– Work to best practice guidelines including forming bunds to work in the dry and maintain safe passage for fish.
WRC will ensure that appropriate signage and spotters will be present to minimise risk, however caution is recommended and contact must be made with an official when nearing the work site.