Over the last year, or longer, there have been many reports about the loss of clean rivers in New Zealand. Water purity has been taken for granted forever, so it is quite a shock to realise that in many other locations they are now struggling to maintain water quality.
Much of the concern, particularly in the South Island, is where rivers have suffered from irrigation schemes and pollution from dairy farms etc. whatever, all have been detrimental to the trout fishing. It is so sad to see the rapid deterioration where some previously beautiful rivers flowing through a natural environment (?) are no longer safe to swim in, etc.
So this brief update is to provide some balance to the claims with reference to the Tongariro River in particular, but the comments could also apply to other rivers in the Taupo Region – all tributaries feeding Lake Taupo. Overseas anglers who have fished NZ for many years are particularly alarmed by some of the negative reporting. TRM has received a number of concerned messages from overseas inmates.
As one could expect these days, some of the claims are excessive aimed more to attract funding or composed for political reasons, although we do not want to downplay the seriousness of the situation elsewhere. Clean water is such a basic birthright but sadly some councils have failed to maintain the purity of supply and allowed other rivers to deteriorate. That situation is not applicable in the central plateau across this region.
Generally in the central North Island plateau lakes and rivers it is fair to claim there is minimal pollution or detrimental effects on the trout fishing. Gravity ensures that all rivers and streams from this region flow downriver though other pastoral farming regions where there may be issues, such as to the north and west, etc. but this Taupo region is still blessed with so much wonderful 100% pure snow-melt filtered through natural native bush from mountain ranges in the national parks. It will never change. If pure clean water is the priority determinate on your bucket list to decide where to live, then move to Turangi. We really do live in heaven, even if we take it for granted.
The catchment for the Tongariro River is to the south dominated by the elevated mountains in the Tongariro National Park and the Kaimanawa Ranges – all still preserved in a pristine natural state. The pumice
The Tongariro River is partly controlled by hydro dams but they do not add any real pollution, except perhaps when flooded conditions result in a release of a backup of silt and pumice and ash from old eruptions that builds up beyond the capacity of silt traps. During floods, any release of pumice colours the river. To
In the big picture, when so many other places in NZ are suffering from what could be described as the unfortunate consequences of economic growth, Turangi has hardly changed. Other local rivers similarly continue to provide some of the best natural wild trout fishing in the world. Tongariro anglers are very fortunate. In Turangi we know we are lucky and count our blessings.