KAI IWI LAKES TROUT FISHERY UNDER THREAT

Here’s the Northland Fish & Game summary of what’s happening…

Northland Fish & Game is appealing to anglers to have their say on the Proposed Draft Kai Iwi Lakes Reserve Management Plan 2015.
We urge you make a submission before the March deadline (4.30pm on Tuesday 22 March 2016), and ask for Fish & Game’s stocking of the lakes to continue.
As anglers, we urge you to strongly reject the council’s draft proposals to halt Fish & Game’s trout releases and to ban the use of motorised craft on the lakes – without proper research into the potential impacts – both ecological and economic.
The Kai Iwi Lakes are New Zealand’s most northern significant rainbow trout lake fishery. It is also Northland’s most popular fishery, used for decades by locals, families and visitors, and effectively halting angling will have ecological and economic impacts.
We believe it is crucial the ecological implications of the existing proposals are fully investigated, including the impact on native fish. The economic impact should also be examined as anglers presently contribute to the local economy through fish-related spending on accommodation, food and fishing equipment.
Without a Kai Iwi Lakes trout fishery, valuable trout fishing licence income will also be lost – with a resulting impact on other Northland fisheries as Fish & Game’s fisheries management budget shrinks.
What the council is planning
The draft Management Plan has been open for public comment 22 December 2016. (The entire plan can be viewed at: http://www.kaipara.govt.nz/ click on Draft Kai Iwi Lakes Consultation).
The key part of the plan is this proposal:
The plan wants exotic fish releases (trout) reviewed and if deemed detrimental to the ecology and health of native fish, to have trout stocking ceased in all lakes by 2018.
The fishery is not self sustaining and managed on a ‘put and take’ basis as there is no natural spawning. To maintain fish stocks, 2,400 yearling rainbows are released each May.
If trout stocking ceases, the fishery will collapse in three years.
The proposal to ban all motorised craft will also impact on recreation on the lakes, including anglers. This is demonstrated by the fact that about 60% of anglers taking part in the annual Kai Iwi Lakes Trout Fishing Competition use a boat for either trolling or jigging. .
A ban on motorised craft would limit the ability of families to fish as a group, and discriminate against older or disable anglers who are not capable of rowing.
What is Fish and Game doing?
We are preparing a substantive submission to the Kaipara District Council, presenting a strongly argued case for the fishery to continue. This will include presenting evidence to the council that trout are an essential species for sustaining the native fishery because they eat the introduced pest species mosquito fish which would otherwise severely impact on native species like galaxids.
Fish and Game will also point out the trout fishery is an extremely important recreational resource for many freshwater anglers, and a major contributor to the economic well-being of Dargaville in particular.
We have various experts on the job. We have contracted a fisheries scientist to review all of the current research on the interactions between trout, mosquito fish and native fish. We’ve also contracted a planner to look at the relationship between the Regional and District Plans on proposed Kai Iwi Lakes Draft Management Plan, and how these plans affect the local economy.
In addition, we have employed a solicitor to review the relevant legislation which applies to both Fish & Game and the Kaipara District Council.
What can you do?
If you value these lakes as an angling experience you need to make a submission. It is very easy to do. Go to the Kaipara District Council website:http://www.kaipara.govt.nz
Click on Draft Kai Iwi Lakes Consultation/ Submit Now – Write or upload a submission on the Draft Reserve Management Plan
Please fill in your details and write an account of your personal fishing experiences, the number of years you’ve been visiting the lakes, and they it will mean to you if you can’t fish from a motorised craft.
If you wish to make a written submission, post it to:
Kaipara District Council
Private Bag 1001
Dargaville 340
Attention Mark Schreurs
Telephone 0800 727 059
Remember the deadline – 4.30pm on Tuesday 22 March 2016.
If you make a submission, please post or email a copy to our Fish & Game office. The information may help our case. Email:northland@fishandgame.org.nz
Or post to:
Northland Fish and Game Council
PO Box 25003
Whangarei 0148
On behalf of Fish and Game, please speak up against this very real threat to the Kai Iwi Lakes trout fishery.
Kind regards,
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Rudi Hoetjes
Regional Manager

FRESHWATER REFORM – IT WON’T BE FRESH ANY MORE

Time to get involved in the second public consultation over proposed changes to laws, regulations and National Policy Statements which determine freshwater management.  Irrespective of whether you believe the Government listens to you, we all have a responsibility to communicate what we believe is important about our rivers, lakes, streams and lagoons.

 

Go HERE to access the Government’s Next Steps consultation document, how to submit and the Fish & Game press releases.

CARP FARMING AT TAUPO

Our concerns over the silver and grass carp farm at Taupo is for the following reasons:

  1. Irrespective of the size of the risk we believe that an extremely precautious approach is required when considering rearing carp near Lake Taupo.  DoC’s own fisheries review in 2012 estimated the value of the trout fishery to the Taupo region to be in the order of $100M p.a.  It is an international destination for anglers and of historic angling reputation.  Why do it here?
  2. The assurances that such fish could never escape and acclimatise in the Taupo/Waikato catchment has been heard before for  brown bullhead catfish (from DoC), which are now established in Lake Taupo.
  3.  Assurances that the Taupo/Waikato catchment is unsuited to the survival of grass and silver carp – “it is too cold”.  However hot spots generated by warm geothermal streams, such as Tokaanu and Wairakei  entering the lake may provide suitable spawning potential.
  4. Silver carp eat plant and animal plankton – Lake Taupo may not have enough to sustain them but there is sufficient plankton in the lake for the smelt to survive and the Waikato hydro lakes are awash with algae.  Could the carp compete with the smelt for food and could this impinge on the principal diet of lake trout?
  5.  The claim that there are no known instances of silver or grass carp acclimatising in NZ is correct as only triploid (sterile) carp have been introduced into waterways to date.  However there is anecdotal evidence from several anglers catching grass carp in the Waikato.
  6.  The risk of escapees during transportation.  Live fish are transported from breeding ponds at Warkworth, north of Auckland, down to Taupo, then back up to Auckland for sale (still live) and “..other locations..” as specified by the applicant.
  7. “Asian” carp (Silver, grass, black and bighead carp) have become such a nuisance fish in USA that the government is spending substantial sums trying to eradicate them, and drafting the US army in for assistance in eradication attempts.
  8. SECRECY – DoC have not shared details of the application for carp farming and we understand resource consent applications will be minor NON-NOTIFIED, if needed at all.  Without access to information how can we address our concerns?

All the press releases and media statements can be found HERE