Project Update of Jeff Tucker Wetland Restoration
Thursday, 02 February 2017
This project encompasses an area of wetland that has been adversely affected through historical drainage. The top of the wetland has a good stand of remnant kahikatea forest which will be protected from grazing damage by the current proposal. The water control structure will be set to a height which will enable water manipulation suitable for waterfowl and the kahikatea forest. Water levels will be set once feedback from kahikatea restoration experts at Waikato Regional Council has been considered. It is likely that a gradual process of restoration hydrology will be required. A targeted spray programme is required in order to control glyceria which is proliferating in the lower floodplain area.
This project is largely complete. We are hopeful that the removal of stock coupled with slow hydrological restoration will see re-colonisation and self seeding of kahikateas. This process has been augmented by planting a further 150 kahikatea trees last spring. A small number of cabbage trees and flaxes have also been planted and 30 matsudana willow poles plus 150 carex secta have been put along the river frontage to try and mitigate erosion. Predator control is ongoing in the area as part of this project and as part fo the trapping study using good nature traps. We had a large flood event which inundated the wetland and approximately 25 koit have made it into the site. We are trialling pod traps to see if it will be feasible to catch and remove the carp. If not we can lower water levels at the end of summer using the water control structure and remove the koi prior to re-filling the wetland in autumn.
Photo 1: Looking towards remnant kahikatea stand, now fully fenced
Photo 2: Looking along constructed bund adjacent to Opuatia River. Note the difference in water height and quality between wetland and river.