Emails discussing Deep Creek

ENHANCING NATURE THROUGH PARTICIPATION

26th June 2014

Dear CSI Councillors,

I’ve received a reply from F&G regarding my concerns raised in the email dated 11th June (included below)

Unfortunately the responses haven’t addressed my concerns sufficiently so I’m providing more information on these two issues, however after 2 and a half years of getting nowhere on the Deep Creek issue I am copying this to senior F&G staff and the responsible ministers so they are aware of these issues.

Deep Creek

  • Please find a detailed assessment of the of the issues I see surround Deep Creek, there’s a summary down the bottom of the doc, this is in response to a letter from F&G also attached
  • I make no apology for continuing to push this, this stream is far too important to be allowed to be damaged permanently by inaction. I demand it is addressed immediately. If F&G wont or don’t want to be involved then I can organise the repair work, for that to happen I need to know that F&G will support such action and any consent that may need to be acquired

 

Bowyers Stream

  • The response from F&G to my concerns were along the lines that I should seek to put my energies toward engaging with the regional authorities who are responsible for this type of work

    That was exactly what I was attempting to do. In the past F&G had suggest I get in touch with Ecan which I have done. The work done in 2010 resulted in the Ecan river engineer agreeing to trial using a tractor instead of a dozer in a stretch of this stream, so progress was being made, further down in that email he says that: 'work undertaken in this part of the river is restricted to spraying the fairway and removing snags'.  Updated emails & Pics from 2010

    The August 2013 work course was much more than that in the same area were they had said they would only use the tractor, remove snags and spray weeds.
  • It is the advice from F&G staff to the engineer that has halted progress to achieving a lighter touch because the River Engineer has been told that there are no issues by F&G the fisheries managers.
  • Bowyers Stream is the best by far small stream fishery of its type in Mid Canterbury, up to 30 fish encountered in a day at its very best.

 

So having looked at those pictures supplied in the previous email, if you agree that the work could be done better – then the minimum that I need is for F&G staff to amend their view slightly to allow me to progress this. Staff need to communicate to the River Engineer that while they are happy with elements of the work, on review they feel some things could be done better.

Overall
I can appreciate that Councillors rely heavily for direction on issues from staff, I also realise that staff have limited time and resources, and there is no way they could possibly have an intimate knowledge of all of the river systems and fisheries in their region. However there are people who do have such intimate knowledge though years of experience on those waterways, common sense suggests that staff should make use of that knowledge.

I can’t believe the hoops I am being made to jump through on these too issues which should be no brainers – New Zealand has a world class fresh water fishery, it needs world class management, it certainly is not getting that on these two issues 

I hope this receives your immediate attention and these two issues sorted out immediately

Kind regards
Steve Gerard

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Correspondence from 11th June 2014

 

Just getting in touch with the CSI F&G Councillors regarding two issues I’ve been trying to address but which CSI F&G haven’t been very helpful with

Bowyers Stream
River control work back in September led to a meeting with Hamish Stevens and the river engineer on the river, unfortunately Hamish give the opinion that from a fisheries prospective the work wasn’t an issue, so effectively stop us from moving this issue forward. I disagree with Hamish’s view,  from a recreational fishing point of view the stream was badly damaged. I asked Jay to sort this out but have got nowhere;

Here’s a link to a report I put together for Jay showing the work, and the issues: http://www.futurerivers.co.nz/downloads/Bowyers_Stream_Spring_2013.pdf

The April floods have washed most of the loose work away: http://www.futurerivers.co.nz/downloads/bowyers_work_after_april_floods.pdf

These pictures pretty conclusively show that much of the work done is pointless. In all of the pools and corners where gravel is shown to have been pushed up into banks, it’s now all gone, washed out by what was only a moderate flood, so completely misses the Waikato Region Council guidelines which say;

4.2 Vegetation lopping and layering
Anchoring;
Must be adequate to retain the material on site during all expected flow conditions until sufficient new roots have formed to anchor the willow material

Some pics of previous work;

2008 http://www.futurerivers.co.nz/downloads/bowyerspics2008.pdf

And 2010: http://www.futurerivers.co.nz/downloads/Bowyerspics2010.pdf

What I had suggested to Jay was to work together to establish a set of guidelines based on the Waikato Regional Council guidelines, that could set the bench mark for this type of work, reducing the impact it has going forward. And I also asked him that if he agreed with my assessment to let the river engineer responsible for the work know that F&G had changed their view, but that didn’t happen, so we can’t move this forward on our own as the River Engineer believes the work is all OK because that’s what F&G have told him.

I also believe that staff failed to meet a number of points as set out in the 2013/14 Operational Work Plan; 3.3.3 - communication has been very very poor. And they aren’t meeting the “To manage, maintain, and enhance sportsfish and game resources on a sustainable basis in the recreational interests of anglers and hunters”  - Output 2 Goal: “To protect and increase suitable habitat for sports fish and gamebirds to the extent necessary to provide for the recreational interests of angler and hunters”

Deep Creek
Over two years ago I bought to the attention of CSI F&G an issue of a diversion in Deep Creek (Upper Rangitata - Mt Potts)

The diversion bank was removed by hand, but the channel had become too big to close, it needed a digger to correct the issue

I did offer via Mark Web to pay the cost of a consent and digger. But for whatever reason F&G decided not to continue with this so the water is still going the wrong way.

The Picture attached, taken just before Xmas, shows how much flow is now going down the diversion (left hand side) It’s getting worse with every fresh, and won’t be long until it’s all going that way. This diversion takes out the middle section of stream, the diversion flows very fast and has little fisheries value when compared to the original course, it I think about 0.4 km shorter too

I’ll remind you that this stream was considered so important that it was closed to fishing for 5 years to protect it from Didymo, yet here we have something which has had a far greater impact and nothing is getting done, it’s an iconic Canterbury spring creek, a salmon spawning stream, I have to suggest F&G are asleep at the wheel, it’s just not good enough!

We did speak to ecan about this after F&G pulled out. The opinion of the person we spoke to (one of the river engineers I think) was that a resource consent may not be needed. This work could be carried out this winter once the salmon spawning is all finished. I guess the question is will F&G cooperate??

 

Kind Regards

Steve Gerard

Future Rivers
13 Cameron Street
Methven 7730
New Zealand

Ph: 0800 379 359
Ph: 03 303 3171
Fax: 0800 100 516