Taylor River weedcutting to begin on 1 May
A number of environmental factors have combined which mean Blenheim residents may have to put up with a flooded boardwalk in the downtown amphitheatre area for a bit longer, Andy White, Council Rivers and Drainage Engineering Manager said.
“We’ve had a fairly wet summer on top of two major storms over the last two years, which means there has been increased siltation - or aggradation - of the river bed,” he said.
“This is part of the natural behaviour of all rivers when rainfall is heavy or prolonged.”
“The Council fully appreciates that recreational users may be frustrated by the restricted access but the Taylor is part of the dynamic Wairau River system and does flood from time to time.”
“We completed our first round of annual weedcutting in mid-January. Under the rules in the Marlborough Environment Plan, river works are not permitted in the Taylor and Opaōa rivers from 1 February to 30 April to avoid fish spawning season, so additional weedcutting cannot be carried out during this time.”
“The key fish species we are protecting are inanga. Juvenile inanga are the main species that make up the whitebait catch.”
Mr White said barriers would be put up to discourage people from cycling or walking along the flooded boardwalks. An Easter egg hunt had also been relocated.
“In mid-May we will carry out some gravel and sediment removal to reduce the height of the river bed. This will provide an interim solution whilst we explore longer term solutions to aggradation.”
“If the water level drops over the coming weeks we will be able to reopen the boardwalk. The situation will be reviewed daily,” he said.
He said if the weather remained dry there was a greater chance the river’s water level would drop. Currently the Eastern side boardwalk (Grove Road side) is dry and free of water.
The information in this media statement was correct at time of publication. Changes in circumstances after the time of publication may impact on the accuracy of the information.