The death of a river

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    I take my hat off to those that are campaigning to clean up the Opihi river.

    Have a gander at this:

    [quote:1ns7kdbl]South Cantabrians concerned about the state of the Opuha and Opihi Rivers have decided to take collective action.

    More than 40 people attended a meeting in Temuka on Wednesday evening, where it was agreed that a committee should be established as an avenue for people’s concerns. It will include local fishermen Ray Brokenshire and Barry Stone, Temuka pharmacist Allan Campbell, South Canterbury Anglers Club member Allan Davidson and Pleasant Point Apiaries director Paul Bartrum.

    Mr Brokenshire chaired the meeting. He said it was time something was done to address the issue, especially since health authorities had to issue warnings after algal bloom was found in the Opihi and Pareora Rivers this summer. “This was once the greatest fishery in South Canterbury.

    “For too long, the phormidium [algae] has got out of control. The river smells of rotting vegetation, dogs cannot swim in the water, and the fish taste absolutely awful.”

    Mr Brokenshire said although he was not against the Opuha Dam, the people in charge of it needed to be consulted about the situation.

    “Let the experts decide who is at fault. But we have seen a real deterioration in both the quality and quantity of the water,” he said.

    Environment Canterbury (ECan) and Central South Island Fish and Game also needed to take more ownership of the issue, Mr Brokenshire said. “I haven’t seen anybody helping our river. Now it is time to say that it must not get any worse.”

    CSI Fish and Game officer Mark Webb attended the meeting, but not in an official capacity. However, he said he hoped the committee would be able to meet with CSI Fish and Game.

    Mr Campbell said he had seen the effects of phormidium on people.

    “One angler had rashes all down his legs. It was horrific,” he said.

    Mr Stone said he was pleased several people seemed to share his concern, after being called a “rock-thrower” by certain parties.

    “We are here for the river,” he said.

    Mr Stone said he would send a letter to ECan commissioner Margaret Bazley, outlining the community’s growing concern about the rivers.

    After Mr Stone read the letter aloud, several people applauded, and it was agreed that the letter should be sent on behalf of the committee.

    Ines Stager, of South Canterbury Forest and Bird, said ECan had a statutory plan for the Opihi and Opuha Rivers, which was due for a review.

    “While there are good things in the plan, there is still much that needs to be addressed.”

    Mr Brokenshire said he was delighted at the meeting’s turnout. He hoped the committee would convene soon, although the Christchurch earthquakes made it uncertain as to when that would be.

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    “We will just plug away.The squeaky wheel is the one which gets oiled,” he said.

    I take my hat off to Ray, I know him from my time with the Fire Service, he is like a doberman dog, once he grabs on to something, he never lets go.

    smokin’ joe

    dairy farming should be banned within ‘X’ km of rivers and shouldn’t be allowed any further than ‘X’km of the coast, in a bid to stop the aquafier filling up with nitrates and ultimatley choking both the aquafier and the rivers.
    surface fllooding seems to be a far more common scenario since high-intensity dairying became the norm……… choked ground and rivers, maybe??


    hi im with you on that one smokin joe the selwin river is buggerd as is the L2 the dairy farmers need a kick in butt for letting it into the rivers

    smokin’ joe
    Participant … ned-20-000

    about time they started to hurt the dirty buggers.
    fine should have been 5-10 times what he got though. … -stay-away

    and to think i took my boy and dog for a swim about 1km downstream on wednesday.


    smokin’ joe

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