Young Valley. Photo by ODT.
A significant drop in the water level in the Young Valley
North Branch dam has prompted a high alert to be issued for the
Young Valley area - part of the Gillespie Pass Track in the
Mount Aspiring National Park.
A Department of Conservation media statement said it was
unclear if the reduced water level was due to a fault with
the Otago Regional Council monitoring equipment or if the dam
was unstable because of the recent rain event.
However, a positive sign was the waters in the Makarora River
were running clear.
Doc issued a high alert warning for the valley until the
situation could be investigated.
Trampers were being advised if they intended to use the area
not to camp on the valley floor and move through the Young
Valley as quickly as possible.
The department is placing ''high alert'' warning signs in
nearby visitor centres and at relevant track entrances.
The Wanaka Doc office plans to review the situation this
morning and, depending on the results of the investigation, a
code red status might be activated to close access to the
area according to the Young Valley management response plan,
or the alert would be withdrawn.