Opening - pre 1868

Year proposed

  pre 1868


  Implemented for a defined

Location description


Description of option

  The manual opening of the most westerly part of the lake every 2-3 years using digging sticks to prevent flooding of the Taumutu Pa. Lake levels at this time were potentially much greater with a head of 3+m or 8-9 feet above mean sea level (Harris, 1947). Prior to 1840 "According to legend when Lake Ellesmere was very high it was let out at the most westerly part of the lake by some hundreds of Maoris using flax sticks to scrape a narrow channel across the spit to the sea. It is stated that the fort then existing upon the site now occupied by the native church at Taumutu was surrounded by water" (Harris, 1947).

Opening, closing, and lake level control description

  Lake was opened to prevent flooding of Taumutu Pa (approx every 2 yrs/ lake levels of order of 8-9 feet above msl), and to allow for eel & flounder migration at key times throughout the year.

Maximum discharge

  above 300 cumecs

Maintenance/Management description


Cost description


Fish passage benefit rating


Potential running impacts or benefits