Waihou and Piako ecological monitoring 2015
Report: TR 2016/26
Author: Elizabeth Graham, Paul Franklin, Glenys Croker, Kathryn Reeve and Josh Smith (NIWA).
Waikato Regional Council (WRC) have initiated investigations in the Waihou and Piako catchments to support and inform the scheduled allocation review process in these catchments. One of the key objectives of the water allocation process is to safeguard the life-supporting capacity of freshwater ecosystems (MfE 2014). WRC are seeking to improve their understanding of the ecological status of aquatic ecosystems in the Waihou and Piako river systems and have initiated ecological monitoring studies in the two catchments (Franklin and Booker 2009; Franklin et al. 2011; Franklin and Bartels 2012; Franklin et al. 2013; Franklin et al. 2014).
The objective of this study was to undertake monitoring of fish, macroinvertebrates, macrophytes and periphyton at ten sites across the Waihou and Piako catchments. Five sites were chosen for annual surveying in each catchment based on the recommendations in Franklin et al. (2013). The aim was to build on and consolidate the previous ecological monitoring studies in the catchments by adding to the time series of data for these sites. The results will contribute knowledge of the ecological values in the catchments to the water allocation decision-making process.