Deep Creek is about to die - I need help

Issues affecting our sport...
User avatar
Steve
Site Admin
Posts: 418
Joined: Thu Apr 24, 2014 9:42 pm
Location: Methven NZ
Contact:

Deep Creek is about to die - I need help

Post by Steve » Sat Aug 16, 2014 7:52 am

Image

Following on from where I highlighted this issue on the old forum and the plight facing this superb back country stream, I was up there again a week ago; it's dying

And it's not that I haven't been trying to get this resolved, I have, I've spent hours and hours, but I'm getting absolutely nowhere, in fact this is one of two issues I've been trying to make headway on, I'll highlight the other in a separate thread - think I need some help, otherwise this stream is going to be forever degraded

If you agree with my concerns please email Central South Island Fish & Game and ask them to act;
(please ask that your message is forwarded to all Council members and staff)

Email: csi@fishandgame.org.nz
Phone: 03 615-8400

To recap;

In December 2011 I found this diversion;

Image

which was drawn to the attention of CSI F&G with whom I have tried patiently and quite unsuccessfully to get this resolved.

After two years and 8 mouths of banging my head rather hard and repeatedly against a brick wall I am totally frustrated, meanwhile the stream is now looking like this;

Image
Above is one of the pools in the natural main stem which has lost flow because of the diversion and will most likely dry up completely. You can see from the bank how the flow has decreased
Image
This one will go
Image
As will this
Image
This pic shows a salmon spawning area, you can see the 3 ridges on the right which are the old reeds created by the salmon - it's going to be lost too



User avatar
Steve
Site Admin
Posts: 418
Joined: Thu Apr 24, 2014 9:42 pm
Location: Methven NZ
Contact:

Re: Deep Creek is about to die - I need help

Post by Steve » Sat Aug 16, 2014 7:55 am

Here's a summary of the stream in more detail showing the channel the water has been diverted down and the original main channel;
Image

From my guiding days there are about 12 locations in the red zone that would likely hold a trout - as the stream continues to dry as erosion cuts the diversion channel deeper most of the main channel will dry;

Image

The total length of the main stem of Deep Creek is about 6.5kms

Summary potential effects of diversion if all flow goes down it;

Loss of flow to the Main Stem (up to 1.39km of 1.76km in the affected area) or 1.39km out of a total of 6.51km of main stem resulting in;

Loss of salmon spawning areas 1.76km
Loss of adult trout habitat 1.76km
Loss of juvenile habitat 1.39km

Loss of a secondary channel 1.39km
Potential loss of up to 3.10 total km of productive habitat when including both the reduced values within the diverted flow and the likely drying of the main-stem when comparing it to the pre-diversion flows

Risk of silt/sediment deposits from erosion in the diverted stem impacting on salmon spawning areas below.



User avatar
Steve
Site Admin
Posts: 418
Joined: Thu Apr 24, 2014 9:42 pm
Location: Methven NZ
Contact:

Re: Deep Creek is about to die - I need help

Post by Steve » Sat Aug 16, 2014 7:58 am

Here are some pictures of the flow where it's been diverted into the shorter (yellow) channel. This is an existing channel that always had a small flow, now it is carrying 1/4 of the flow. It's mostly a narrow straightish channel;

Image
Above is the worst section where it's very narrow and fast

Image
Most of the it looks more like this, mostly quite fast with next to no fish holding or salmon spawning areas

Image
And as you can imagine with the increase of flow in a small narrow channel erosion is going to be increased and there where many areas like this

Image
Resulting in the silty appearance of the water at the bottom of the yellow channel where it meets the main stem again. The silt being scoured out will be getting deposited into the large salmon spawning areas below, not ideal for hatching salmon fry, and will only increase as the remaining flow goes down this channel. Water clarity for trout fishing below this point is also likely to become an issue at times depending on just how severe the on going erosion will be.



User avatar
Steve
Site Admin
Posts: 418
Joined: Thu Apr 24, 2014 9:42 pm
Location: Methven NZ
Contact:

Re: Deep Creek is about to die - I need help

Post by Steve » Sat Aug 16, 2014 8:24 am

And why I'm I making such a fuss? A picture tells a thousand words;
Image

Deep Creek was a superb back country spring creek, the scenery is stunning, the water gin clear, it's the epitome of the best that NZ offers, and therefore I rate it as world class - 4 kms of top quality trout water. The diversion removes 1.76kms of this water.

Trout – Deep Creek contains reasonable numbers of above average size trout, there is a genuine opportunity to catch fish up to and above 10lbs.

Salmon - It provide spawning gravels utilised by a high percentage of salmon returning to the Rangitata river so is a very important salmon spawning stream.



Silvio
Posts: 27
Joined: Sun May 25, 2014 10:25 am

Re: Deep Creek is about to die - I need help

Post by Silvio » Sat Aug 16, 2014 12:19 pm

Yeah Steve I see what you are saying. Fished the new channel this summer and saw bugger all fish. As you say, not much holding water left at all. Fish & Game should definitely do more about this issues. It hurts to see what is happening.



User avatar
piwakawaka
Posts: 144
Joined: Sat May 10, 2014 4:18 pm

Re: Deep Creek is about to die - I need help

Post by piwakawaka » Sat Aug 16, 2014 12:31 pm

hi Steve

I have sent F&G an email in support of your actions. I'm certainly not saying that my email will make a difference but if enough people answer your call......who knows.

regards
Ross



User avatar
Steve
Site Admin
Posts: 418
Joined: Thu Apr 24, 2014 9:42 pm
Location: Methven NZ
Contact:

Re: Deep Creek is about to die - I need help

Post by Steve » Sat Aug 16, 2014 12:56 pm

Thanks Ross, my loan voice hasn't got very far - if enough get in touch then maybe they'll reconsider

Ross and Silvo this is the reason F&G have given for not pursuing this;

"Council believes mechanical restoration of flow to the true left braid as you have requested will increase erosion as well as threatening fenced grazing. While impacts on fencing and grazing are not issues for F&G to consider they are of concern to the landowner. We foresee on-going erosion requiring river control and bank protection works. While increasing the flow in the true left braid will provide trout fishing habitat Council believes the threat to salmon spawning and rearing habitat in the reach and further downstream where 25% to 40% of salmon currently spawn outweighs the increase in water to is productive for trout fishing."

Make what you will of that, you'll know how stable that bed is generally and how little it's likely to erode after your visit there Silvo.

I responded in detail to F&G with an email and this giving a detail overview: here pointing out that there were only two places where erosion might cause issues and showed via google earth how slow the process is. Compare that to the erosion going on in the new channel. I sent that back on June 26th and have heard nothing back - I'm frustrated beyond frustration, hence the call for help.



fantasticmrtrout
Posts: 1
Joined: Sat Aug 16, 2014 7:16 pm

Re: Deep Creek is about to die - I need help

Post by fantasticmrtrout » Sat Aug 16, 2014 7:20 pm

Such horrible news Steve. I will write to F&G and complain, its their god damn job to deal with stuff like this no?

Robert



User avatar
piwakawaka
Posts: 144
Joined: Sat May 10, 2014 4:18 pm

Re: Deep Creek is about to die - I need help

Post by piwakawaka » Sat Aug 23, 2014 2:14 pm

Hi
I have copied a reply I received from CSI F&G in response to an e-mail I sent supporting "Steve"....

Open letter to Steve Gerard and those concerned about the status of Deep Creek in the upper Rangitata:

Steve and CSI Fish & Game Staff have had numerous interactions about Deep Creek over the years including a joint effort in September 2012 to manually remove an unconsented diversion. When advised of the diversion CSI promptly reported it to ECan who have responsibility for enforcement action. We understand that the diversion may have been completed some 5 years before and by a previous owner of the station. Considerable effort was expended by CSI Staff over a 6-month period including preparing an 8-page application for waiver of conditions under the Natural Resources Regional Plan and the proposed Land & Water Regional Plan to undertake even manual (not machine) removal of the unconsented diversion in a sensitive area. A “non-enforcement decision” was granted by ECan on August 28, 2012. Joint action to remove the diversion was completed in September. Since manual removal, natural forces have been at work to shape the separation of the two channels as evidenced in the attached photo taken in July this year.

The CSI Council had a detailed discussion about Deep Creek at its June 2014 meeting that highlighted its importance as a salmon spawning stream. The view of Council was expressed in a letter to Steve on 16 June 2014 (copy attached) that sets out the reasons for Council’s view. Council reaffirmed its view as stated in its June letter at Thursday night’s Council meeting.

It occurs to me, however, that the basis for Council's view may not be well known or understood by anglers. Deep Creek is one of only four named streams in the upper Rangitata given special status in the Rangitata Water Conservation Order 2006. It is named in “Schedule 2 – Protected waters” for its “Outstanding Features” for “Salmon spawning”. It is for that reason that Council assigns a higher priority to maintain and enhance salmon spawning and rearing habitat in Deep Creek as stated in Council’s letter of 16 June. In any year, between 50% and 80% of all salmon spawning in the entire Rangitata River catchment occurs in Deep Creek!

That high status for “salmon spawning” is further reinforced in the proposed Land & Water Regional Plan (the Plan). Schedule 17 of that Plan specifically lists “Salmon Spawning Sites” of regional importance. Deep Creek is specifically named. F&G fought hard to get even those values included in the Plan. Furthermore the Plan has at least 12 Rules that control and restrict activities that can be undertaken in named streams with high values for salmon spawning. The complexity and robustness of satisfying those rules was apparent in gaining approval from ECan and affected parties and preparing the 8-page application to manually remove the unconsented diversion as stated above.

Protecting the salmon spawning values is the reason for Council placing higher priority on streams such as Deep Creek. CSI have initiated various habitat protection and enhancement works on other important salmon spawning streams throughout the lower and upper Rangitata including Deep Creek and Deep Stream (on the south side of the Rangitata).

Over the last several months I have had several conversations with Steve about ECan’s on-going river control works, works they are required to do by statute. We have shared various examples of guidelines of best practice for carrying out such works. I have been able to advise him that ECan is currently undertaking review of its guidelines and it is timely for Steve and CSI to have input into that review.

Jay Graybill, Chief Executive

CSI Fish & Game Council



User avatar
Steve
Site Admin
Posts: 418
Joined: Thu Apr 24, 2014 9:42 pm
Location: Methven NZ
Contact:

Re: Deep Creek is about to die - I need help

Post by Steve » Sun Aug 24, 2014 7:07 am

For the record;

Councillor Kevin Payne raised my concerns again at the June meeting, thank you Kevin for doing your best for us. I received a response from CSI where they gave their reasons why they didn't want to proceed, sighting erosion concerns as being the main factor as indicated earlier in this thread. I thought they were mistaken so put together adetailed assessment and asked;

If F&G wont or don’t want to be involved then I can organise the repair work, for that to happen I need to know that F&G will support such action and any consent that may need to be acquired

emailed to CSI and Councillors on the 26th June.

Having received no response at all from anyone at CSI I went down to their meeting on Thursday evening to ask what the answer was on this and another issue I have been trying to get resolved.

Having notified them I was coming and wished to speak I was given the opportunity and asked what the answer was to the additional information and the questions I had asked.

The Chairman was the only one to speak and informed me that their original decision stood, I asked if the other councillors present supported that, none of them made a comment, so I left the meeting (Please note that Councillor Payne was ill and didn't attend the meeting)



Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest