Challenges facing lake and wetland
An increasing amount of sediment and nutrient loads at North Waikato’s Lake Waikare and Whangamarino wetland is causing concern for council.
The two assets contribute to local flood control and drainage.
But, the lake and wetland are facing some significant environmental challenges.
Waikato Regional Council is seeking the support of the community to discuss ideas for the way forward.
According to council, levels of suspended sediment in Lake Waikare are high.
Sediment enters the lake from the adjoining land and rivers and is stirred up by wind and wave action and the pest fish koi carp.
In the wetland, sediment comes from a number of sources, including from Lake Waikare, the Maramarua River and adjacent land.
A 2012 report listed catchment management with farm-scale actions as the top-ranked mitigation option.
As a result council committed to developing a catchment management plan, through its 2015-2025 Long Term Plan.
The catchment management plan will set out measures to best address sediment sources impacting on the wetland.
It will also help deal with the wider range of issues in the catchment, including the lake’s water quality and biodiversity.
On Monday, an open day was held for the community to hear about what’s happening to
‘‘We need people to share their thoughts about the best way forward.’’
respond to those challenges, and to chat and contribute to a new catchment management plan for the area.
Council’s integrated catchment management committee chair Stu Husband said the open day was a chance for people to express their vision for the catchment and give ideas for the catchment management plan that is currently being developed.
‘‘As a community, we want to respond effectively to the challenges the lake and wetland are facing and we need people to share their thoughts about the best way forward,’’ Husband said.
The council is co-ordinating the plan’s development and there is also involvement from local iwi, the Department of Conservation, Fish and Game and a local landowner group.
‘‘We know people are concerned about the lake and wetland. Working together is the best way to identify solutions to the challenges we face.’’
In 2014 there were concerns for Lake Waikare, after it’s colour turned a cooper, brassy red.