Govt Lake Onslow Scheme Proposal Is Worth Looking At Further
The Government's announcement that it will fund an investigation of a key recommendation by the Interim Climate Change Committee, hydro schemes which pump water to manage peak demand is worth looking at further from an recreational and environmental perspective.
"Lakes in the South Island are becoming one of Fish & Game's most highly used recreational resources," Fish & Game New Zealand Chief Executive Martin Taylor says.
"Lake Onslow is a regionally important sports fishery as it carries a good population of trout. The Otago Fish & Game Council will be engaging with the proposal to understand any possible effects on the trout fishery."
As University of Waikato Associate Professor Earl Bardsley has noted, the proposal could create even better trout fishing conditions in terms of both size and abundance depending on how any scheme is developed. Professor Bardsley highlights how the artificial Lake Otomangakau in the Tongariro Power Scheme enjoys a reputation for excellent trout fishing. Fish & Game New Zealand believe the concept has merit, but more research will be required.
"This proposal could also stabilise the levels in other natural lakes currently used for hydro storage and result in better summer flows in Lake Hawea and less daily fluctuations in the lower Clutha and Waitaki Rivers for recreational activities.
"Fish & Game New Zealand is opposed to water storage that is designed only to increase intensive farming as that has a negative environmental impact. It is important that any pumped hydro schemes to not lead to further environmental degradation."
"Water storage for green energy purposes has value. Fish & Game look forward to working with the Government on these proposals."