Chal­lenges fac­ing lake and wet­land

North Waikato News - - OUT & ABOUT - CAITLIN MOORBY

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.’’

CHRIS HILLOCK

In 2014 there were con­cerns for Lake Waikare, af­ter it’s colour turned a cooper, brassy red.

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