Report gives ‘interesting perspective’ on rivers
Environment Southland director of science and information Graham Sevicke-Jones said the NZ Federation of Freshwater Anglers’ ‘Lost River’ report is ‘‘quite a leap of faith’’ and gives an interesting perspective on the province’s waterways.
‘‘It gives a useful perspective of one group’s perception, but I’m not entirely sure about the accuracy of the information. Some of their information does not quite match up with ours.
‘‘The change in the anglers’ perception of the fishery is rather simplistic when the problem is more complex than that. The report doesn’t have any new information in it,’’ Sevicke-Jones told Newslink.
‘‘They have taken a step into saying the fish stocks are depleted because of A, B or C when it is more complex than that.
‘‘They have not said over which time periods their perceptions are from, and there has been a lot of change in many factors, such as land use, for example.
‘‘The cause and effect can be any number of things and I would think that you can’t just blame water quality.
‘‘That’s not to say there has not been a change in water quality, but some of the streams they have highlighted have improved, some have stayed consistent and some have degraded.
‘‘I would be loathe to go straight into a water quality discussion - it’s bigger than that.
‘‘When you deal with any change, there are flow on effects that need to be addressed as well.’’
He said less angler effort on some waterways could be due to access issues, as an example.
He said some fisheries used to be stocked regularly and because they were not now, there would obviously be a perception that the fishery had deteriorated because it had to be self-sustaining.
‘‘That may have had an impact, but we have not done an analysis on that so we do not know.’’
Sevicke-Jones was also sceptical of the timing of the report’s release, just before a general election, and was critical of the use of a skull and crossbones the NZFFA had used to highlight waterways with depleted fish stocks.
‘‘They’ve taken an emotive approach, but they have raised awareness of the problem which can be a good thing.’’
Angler days have dropped on the Oreti River, the NZFFA report into ‘Lost Rivers’ says.