Rivers of Gold

Issues affecting our sport...
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Andy W
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Location: Christchurch AKA Quake City

Rivers of Gold

Post by Andy W » Mon Jun 23, 2014 6:26 pm

This article http://www.listener.co.nz/current-affai ... s-of-gold/has been well publicised by the NZ Federation of Freshwater Anglers and if you haven't already read it, is a very good but lengthy read.

It discusses and high lights the problems that are becoming apparent after intensive farming in the shallow soil areas of Mid-Canterbury, and talks about the Hinds River – a former favourite of a number of us. For many it only confirms our observations of dwindling fish stocks.

The same situation is IMO occurring in North Canterbury and a check of http://www.lawa.org.nz/ proves the point. Scary to think that it could also happen in Hawkes Bay as the article mentions.

I don’t intend this to be a stick pointing exercise either – the Canterbury Plains are good examples of shallow alluvial plains which are not present in many other regions with intensive farming. Hell - without the diary industry our economy wouldn't be so Rosie.

It does though provide one explanation as to why Brown Trout numbers in our regional lowland streams are dwindling.

David A
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Joined: Mon May 26, 2014 1:05 am

Re: Rivers of Gold

Post by David A » Mon Jun 23, 2014 11:32 pm

I can't really comment on the for or against arguments for the New Zealand dairy industry.

But -

My prediction, based on the wine, coal and iron industries here in OZ -
Production will exceed demand and it will fall over.

I say that wondering if some regulatory tightening in the coal industry around my town would have helped both the environment and the investors ?

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Re: Rivers of Gold

Post by Boisker » Tue Jun 24, 2014 4:53 am

Well I hope you manage to convince and support the farm industry to take up less damaging practices. There's no reason, except cost, for farming to still be pretty intensive and not degrade rivers- good water capture from yards, soil nutrient budgets and correct time for applications, aerating soils to overcome compaction and capping, wide buffer margins near all water courses... The knowledge is there just the will power and support to help farmers implement required.
Unfortunately it's a crazy world, New Zealand lamb is generally 50% cheaper to buy in the UK compared to NZ, and the same goes for nearly all dairy as well (mass produced 'cheddar' etc)... How the hell can that make sense! Unfortunately it looks like a lot of the NZ farming market is based on providing low cost products in high volume, which in my experience means that the environmental considerations are often secondary.
It's a huge challenge in the UK as well, but always worth the 'fight'...

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Re: Rivers of Gold

Post by Steve » Thu Jun 26, 2014 2:47 pm

I still believe that in many instances there's a relatively easy fix - take the Hinds river for example - the nitrate level has become too high, the powers that be are investigating recharging the qualifiers - introducing clean water to dilute the ground water nitrate concentrations, in about 20 years this will flow through the system and start to improve water quality in the Hinds.

A much simpler and quicker solution would be to supplement the flow of the Hinds with that same clean water, that would immediately dilute the nitrates depending on how much clean water was added

There are issue which I don't know much about, one being the mixing of water which has cultural implications, the other is water availability, of course water does come available as irrigation become more efficient, it's just that water is worth more $$ to the irrigation company if they find another farmer that can use it rather than pour it down a river...

I'm sure it could be done, they just need a reason to do it.

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