Trees in the Rivers

Hugh Canard offers a warning about recent weather causing an increase of trees in our rivers.

The recent wild weather has put more trees and branches in the South Island rivers than usual.

First there was an Easterly gale which brought down swathes of native forest all along the West Coast, and then this was followed by the heaviest snow fall for years, resulting in broken branches and whole trees toppled into the headwaters of rivers from the Karamea to the catchments of the Hokitika.

To give you an idea of the violence of the Easterlies, Timberlands West Coast lost a full year's production of its Pinus Radiata plantations.

Easterly gales can funnel down the West Coast river valleys with surprising ferocity and there are many situations like those in the photos. (taken on the Upper Inangahua River).

The Canterbury rivers have hit their highest levels for years this week and the same applies there. Most of the flow has come from the foothills creeks, not the headwaters, so an awful lot of willows have been scoured into the main runs.

Please take extra care over the next few months, especially on familiar runs, where you won't expect these hazards.

Don't 'Log Off' out there.