Opening today! Usually referred to as Lake O – an abbreviation for Otamangakau – two brief videos below indicate what you might be in for.
It is fortunate that the fishing in this lake has continued to provide a trophy fishery for the Taupo region for so long. The lake was originally a shallow swamp at the head of the Wanganui River that was dammed as part of the Tongariro Hydro Scheme. The shallow lake collects rainwater and
See video above for an interesting history of the Tongariro Power Scheme. This is a massive scheme collecting rainfall and snow melt from both eastern and western flanks of the central plateau to redirect it north to Lake Taupo, instead of south to the Tasman Sea. Lake Rotoaira – fishing season also opens today – operate as another hydro storage lake connected by tunnels and canals to the Tongariro River and collects more water from the eastern slopes and via tunnels from Lake Moawhango, near Waiouru. The hydro combination spins the turbines on the Tokaanu Power Station and increases the volume of Lake Taupo by about 20% (?) before feeding eight more hydropower stations down the Waikato River.
Last summer season was extremely dry and the water supply from Whakapapa was closed off from December resulting in higher water temperatures with many trout dying. This generated much concern during January-February 2019 but the rain eventually arrived and the flow – see image above – resumed just in time.
Road access around the lake was gated off – see image above – in 2017. Many people used to camp along the edges along the western shore but now cannot gain access to the camp sites. Over the years it has produced amazing big trout. Tongariro River anglers always look forward to opening as it reduces the pressure on other rivers in the region.