Slow moving and meandering streams and rivers are particularly vulnerable to invasion by crack willow and the Waiotaka stream is no exception. Ecologically this invasion process transforms riparian and aquatic habitats.
Crack willow roots grow into the stream, capturing silt and smothering gravel beds.
For trout silt accumulation reduces spawning and feeding habitat and for those communities living next to these water -ways flooding risk increases.
From 2008 a substantial investment by Waikato Regoinal Council in willow control occurred, which many river users and regular commuters may have noticed.
Complementary to this large-scale willow control, Ngati Rongomai and Project Tongariro with the support of regional council, community and funders are continuing this significant work. Anglers venturing up above the ford will see the most recent of the restoration work with large areas of river bank being prepared for further planting. This includes cutting, pasting and spraying of pest plant species. Over the next few years podocarp trees especially totara and kahikatea will be planted. For more information on this project and how to get involved contact firstname.lastname@example.org