Ferry goes with the flow
The historic Clutha District Councilowned Tuapeka Mouth Ferry is running regularly once more.
It was virtually out of operation for most of an exceptionally dry January because the river flow was too low, making the exit and entry to the ferry too steep and dangerous to negotiate, operator Terry Stride said. Then following the heavy rain last week and with the let down of water from the Roxburgh Hydro Dam, the river was too high for the ferry to operate on Friday.
The ferry was moored at the Clydevale side of the Clutha River, to avoid entanglement with vegetation and the odd dead sheep carcass float- ing down in the debris.
However, the river’s ups and downs had started to level out this week to a more ideal flow of about 500 cumecs, much to the relief of Clutha district farmers who relied on the crossing point, he said.
It was also good to be able to offer the service to tourists again. ‘‘I enjoy doing it, and it’s annoying when I can’t, when you’ve got to turn people away who have come for miles. They see all this water and don’t understand why the ferry can’t run, and I like to be able to explain why.’’
As to whether or not it would keep operating regularly this summer was in the lap of the weather gods - and the Roxburgh dam. ‘‘We just have to go with the flow.’’
Tuapeka Mouth Ferry operator Terry Stride.