Notable streams in serious decline

Issues affecting our sport...
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marlsounds
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Notable streams in serious decline

Post by marlsounds » Tue May 26, 2020 7:39 pm

We can all hark back halcyon fishing and pristine river quality from the past, perhaps rose-colour tinged with age.

Chatting with someone today prompted me to start making a list of rivers in serious decline or now long lost for any angling at all. It got scarily long and got me thinking. We need an easily searchable list of problem rivers, be it from angling pressure, water quality and the terminal cases to remind us and reference in any discussions/submissions. I've read about quite a few in past threads in this forum. It's won't be hard to pull this together. But does this list already exist publicly?

One to add to the Endangered Water Species list is ... well, I've seen the incredible Spring Creek in Marlborough fade fast. It's been a quick 25 years from this internationally-rated water to go from mostly clear-in-a-fresh to often-murky-in-the-dry, directly due to greater intensity in horticulture and land use with a resultant rapid decline in fish size/numbers. Other tributaries of the Wairau are getting hammered (Fish the Goulter on opening day!) I fear for the Waiau R. tributaries, the Mokihinui R., the Karamea R. tributaries & headwaters. Every province has its shame list. I think we need to name them.

The work of Fish & Game in drift dives and over-time reporting is useful and a good gauge on decline, but we can add to that work as anglers. The scale and rapidity of river decline is probably not increasing in velocity, but we're at a tipping point for quite a few streams at present.

We can make positive change. For instance, it's great to read that due to the work of locals (conservation-minded dairy farmers, I should add) in addressing Otago's Pomahaka R., it's slowly mending.

Any in your area that need to be added to the list?



marlsounds
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Re: Notable streams in serious decline

Post by marlsounds » Tue May 26, 2020 10:07 pm

Here's one to add to the list: Southland's Otipari R. viewtopic.php?f=6&t=1102#p7396



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Steve
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Re: Notable streams in serious decline

Post by Steve » Wed May 27, 2020 6:54 am

Before the last election the NZFFA put together a list of 'lost rivers' - They were identified from the fish and game survey data of river usage and where there had been a drop of in usage, and paired up with other info re water quality from LAWA, historic fisheries records etc to show those which had declined as fisheries - lost their intergenerational equity - here's the SI ones https://nzffa.com/current-projects/lost ... th-island/



marlsounds
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Re: Notable streams in serious decline

Post by marlsounds » Mon Jun 01, 2020 4:32 pm

An excellent resource. Thanks @Steve. I can see more than a few that I would have added to a lost rivers list. I'll be drafting an article regarding this list shortly. Hopefully will get some air ahead of the election again. Any other rivers to add to this list, anyone? Any data or anecdotes to support their inclusion?



Andy W
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Re: Notable streams in serious decline

Post by Andy W » Wed Jun 03, 2020 8:25 am

Its probably time that NZFFA reached out for info, and updated that map. A number of the claims are erroneous, and the rivers are degraded for other reasons - Slovens Stream being a good example.



marlsounds
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Re: Notable streams in serious decline

Post by marlsounds » Fri Jul 31, 2020 3:16 pm

Agree - a good project for NZFFA to update and report on. I'd add the Opawa River in Marlborough to a nationwide list. I hear that some in the Marlborough Freshwater Anglers Club are planning to test and try to revive the Opawa. I hope it's not too late.



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