Fish and Game Otago's plan to get proactive and make a
stand for good water quality is ''justified and overdue'',
Otago council member Ray Grubb says.
Fish and Game will put its draft sports fish and game
management plan for Otago out for public consultation today.
Similar to the Otago Regional Council's regional plan and
Dunedin City Council's district plan, Fish and Game's is its
blueprint for the next 10 years and has similar standing in
statute as those of territorial local authorities.
''If you do something to a river or waterway, every statutory
plan applies. That is why this management plan is so
important, especially with [land use] intensification.
Someone has to take a position,'' Mr Grubb said.
The reviewed plan showed a fundamental shift in Fish and Game
thinking as it set out to use the 150 years of records the
organisation had on the state of the region's rivers to build
a database and then determine for itself the optimum state
for those rivers, which could be different from that of the
regional council, he said.
''The regional council decides how much water can be taken
out. We decide how much should be left in.''
The aim was for those standards to be set before the regional
council proposed and consulted on its standards such as
''Fish and Game will decide for itself what the best water
quality and quantity should be, using historical data and
science; an independent perspective in a sense.''
The plan also made developing closer relationships through
memorandums of understanding with organisations such as the
regional council and the Department of Conservation a
It also saw itself as working with and possibly helping
co-ordinate other recreational groups, he said.
Another issue the draft plan targeted was access to waterways
on paper roads and the need for those roads to be recognised
It was not just a document for anglers and hunters but anyone
interested in water should read, he said''It's a real
problem. Water quality effects everybody.''
Under the Conservation Act the draft plan would be open for
public consultation for 40 working days to March 28 and a
hearing would be held.
The Minister of Conservation had final approval of the plan.