Waikato Regional Council is confident the Oraka Stream at Putaruru is now supporting a healthy ecosystem.
A council team is on site today and has confirmed the presence of healthy koura and other fish life, including eel and trout, at the site of last year’s incident where a large number of dead koura were seen to be floating downstream.
However, council staff are still working to determine the cause of those deaths.
The dead koura were seen on 20 December last year in what appears to have been an isolated, short term event. Incident response staff from the council carried out extensive searches, and took a large volume of water samples, on that day and following days in an effort to determine the cause of the deaths. The final analysis of those water samples was completed this week.
“It is fantastic to see that the stream appears to have completely recovered from whatever occurred on 20 December but we’re determined to find out exactly what happened, and ensure it does not happen again. We’ll now be conducting tests on the bodies of koura collected from the stream to try and establish whether their death is linked to water quality, or some other cause,” said investigation and incident response manager Patrick Lynch.
Final results of the checks on the dead koura and follow up water tests won’t be through for some weeks, Mr Lynch said.
“The council has taken this incident very seriously with staff on site over five consecutive days late last year, and a science and incident response team there today,” said Mr Lynch.
“We’d welcome any more information from the public over this incident.”
The council’s investigations team is available on 0800 800 401.
Image caption: Waikato Regional Council Staff doing checks at the stream today.