The NZ Federation of Freshwater Anglers has urged professional fishing guides to get involved in fighting for clean and flowing rivers. In a lead letter to the “Star Sunday Times”, Tony Orman as spokesman for the federation said guides should prioritise their energies to save declining rivers and trout fisheries.
He was responding to an earlier article in the Sunday paper which had focused on the increased pressure on the public’s trout rivers due to guides and influxes of non-resident overseas anglers and bogus guides. Guides were reported to be competing hotly against each other.
“The rivalry and intense competition between trout fishing guides is ironical. Their energies and anger should be redirected at protecting the public resource of clean and fully flowing rivers, which everyone knows are at a crisis stage,” said Tony Orman. “Sadly, the vast majority of trout fishing guides, while profiteering from trout and rivers, have never been public advocates for the common resource.”
Tony Orman identified several problems such as uncontrolled dairying expansion resulting in diminishing flows and excessive nitrate levels, mass 1080 poison usage and forestry clear felling and subsequent siltation of the underwater ecology.
“No one knows the long-term effects of 1080 dumps on river ecology and the trout themselves,” he added.
He said politicians had expressed concern at the need to restore rivers depleted in flow and quality but there had so far been no tangible action.
“It’s desperately urgent that the coalition government adopt a bold and enduring policy to protect the public’s rivers. Subsequently the next term government -whatever the party makeup – should have the same aim,” he said.
© Upper Wairau – under severe guides’ rod pressure