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Anglers urged to ‘stay away’ from Clarence River

14 November 2016

Anglers urged to ‘stay away’ from Clarence River

Anglers are asked to avoid the Clarence River downstream of the gorge following today’s North Canterbury earthquake.

Nelson/Marlborough Fish & Game Manager Rhys Barrier has been alerted to a slip which is blocking the river in the vicinity of the Dart Stream, with a lake already forming behind the blockage.

Nelson/Marlborough Manager Rhys Barrier says the advice to anglers is “please stay away from the river til the all clear is given.”

The risk to any anglers or other recreational folk lies in what could occur if the temporary lake continues to build up with no release of water, he says.

“If the river suddenly broke through there could be a dangerous surge down the river.”

As the authorities examine the damage to the area we will update anglers when it is safe to return to the Clarence catchment, Mr Barrier says.

Fish & Game officers are also urging any anglers heading into the backcountry to go fishing to take “great care” in general.

Fish and Game New Zealand Chief Executive Bryce Johnson says “we are not advising anglers to abandon their fishing plans, but simply exercise some caution.”

The main risk if any would apply to those being airlifted by helicopter into the more remote areas of the quake-hit region, Mr Johnson says.

“If you fly into such a spot be mindful that if a stream or river is not flowing normally, it may indicate a slip upstream which has temporarily impounded the water that’s then released with a rush.”

For those who are driving into backcountry areas and then heading out on foot, the obvious message is simply one of being cautious for any slips, loosened rocks or boulders.

“Just be vigilant,” Mr Johnson says.

He says that preliminary checks of Fish & Game’s South Island offices and facilities indicates fortunately, no damage.

Mr Johnson says the Fish and Game New Zealand office in Wellington was closed for the day in line with the advice from local Civil Defence officials.

He says the office will be reopened as soon as possible and it will be business as usual.

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