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Fish & Game highlights outstanding rivers

Fish & Game highlights outstanding rivers

Two of the upper South Island’s treasured wild and scenic rivers are in the spotlight this week.

Fish & Game has joined forces with other organisations (see below) in the launch of a campaign to raise awareness of the country’s most outstanding rivers, and the Water Conservation Orders (WCOs) which give them protection.

Nelson Marlborough Fish & Game Manager Neil Deans says the top of the South Island has two Water Conservation Orders in place; one covers the Buller River catchment and lakes, and the other the Motueka River catchment and tributaries.

“The Buller Conservation Order was a long 14 years in the making, and protects a wide range of interests, not just trout fishing – including kayaking, rafting, native fisheries, karst features and wild and scenic values.

“It is by far the largest WCO river catchment area in New Zealand and is effectively protected from its source in Nelson Lakes all the way to the sea, excluding the Inangahua catchment.”

Mr Deans says that while there’s wide recognition of New Zealand’s network of National Parks, too few Kiwis are aware that WCOs provide similar high-level protection for some of the country’s most precious, pristine rivers.

The WCO campaign this week includes the launch of the www.OutstandingRivers.org.nz WCO website, erecting WCO signage and unveiling ceremonies at key locations around the country to identify these waterways of national significance, and raft and kayak flotillas down WCO protected rivers.

Former All Blacks captain Anton Oliver is fronting the campaign in his role as WCO ambassador.

Note: Organisations taking part in the campaign include Forest & Bird, Environmental Defence Society (EDS), Whitewater NZ, Federated Mountain Clubs and other environmental and recreational NGOs.


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