Water wars: Triple whammy of dry summer, river restrictions and irrigation plans hit Hawke's Bay

Posted 24/11/2018

Stuff NZ website

A chalky white snake of silt plots the path where the river should be.

This is no place for Dave Hern's rod and reel, which sits up like an antenna on the front of his truck.

Hern's been a fishing guide in Central Hawke's Bay since 1986. This stretch of the Waipawa River used to dry up for a couple of weeks a year. This year it was bleached and barren by October 16, and Hern reckons it will probably stay that way until April.

He's not the only one who has noticed the changes. Most of his business comes from repeat clients. The crew arriving next week just emailed: they're not keen on fishing the Waipawa or neighbouring Tukituki rivers. Hern used to put anglers into local motels for about 50 nights a year. This season he hasn't made one booking – everyone wants to go backcountry, where the water is clean and plentiful.

Read the full article here.