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
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:email@example.com
Or post to:
Northland Fish and Game Council
PO Box 25003
On behalf of Fish and Game, please speak up against this very real threat to the Kai Iwi Lakes trout fishery.