Lake snags luckless ducks
Finding 27 dead ducks in one day at Tokoroa’s Lake Moananui has shocked keen nature photographer Denise Capper.
Capper, who has been visiting the lake every day for the past 13 years, said the ducks are getting their feet stuck in the thick green weed which has rapidly accumulated over recent years.
‘‘The weed is spreading right out into the lake now and the ducks go into it to feed and then their feet get stuck so they can’t get back out,’’ she said.
‘‘It’s been getting bad for about four years now but it’s never been as bad as it is now and every day I’m finding more dead ducks.’’
‘‘I’ve been down to the South Waikato District Council but all they’ve said is they will pick up the ducks, that’s it. They’re not doing a damn thing about actually fixing the problem,’’ she said.
She said the man-made lake, which is an artificial impoundment of the Matarawa Stream, is also becoming more polluted with rubbish.
‘‘I feel so sorry for the bird life. There used to be a lot more,’’ she said.
‘‘There is paper, bottles, even a football in there but the council just does not seem interested.’’
She said a group of small islands in the lake have also become overgrown with weeds.
‘‘They used to be beautiful and you could see all the birds but now they are covered in long grass and blackberry which all needs to go,’’ she said.
‘‘The council must need more money but the longer they leave it, the more it is going to cost and animals are going to continue to die.’’
South Waikato communications manager Kerry Fabrie said the council had received reports about dead ducks but no monitoring was being done.
‘‘The council has not commissioned tests so has no direct evidence as to the cause of the ducks’ death,’’ she said.
Fabrie said the council feels the weed in the lake environment is not abnormal and at times lowers the lake level to reduce it.
She also said the council’s Parks Team will look into the state of the islands and there was ongoing work around reducing litter.
‘‘We will be installing a new bin on the western side. Sadly however some research shows that an increase in litter bins does not necessarily decrease the amount of litter,’’ she said.