Lakes

Latest news

A combination of artificial intelligence and scientific ingenuity looks set to be the next step forward in protecting Aotearoa New Zealand’s lakes and rivers from invasive aquatic weeds.
How much is too much? Susan Pepperell looks at some of the tough decisions looming around access to freshwater and how science is helping with solutions.
A new study has identified seven freshwater species native to Aotearoa-New Zealand that will likely be highly or very highly vulnerable to climate change.
For more than 20 years NIWA scientists have been nurturing three plants that are the only examples of their kind in existence.

Our work

Three plants of an endemic submerged quillwort (Isoëtes) were recovered from Lake Ōmāpere by NIWA in 1998, prior to the lake weed (Egeria densa) dying off and the lake switching into an algal dominated turbid state. No further isoëtes plants have been observed in the lake since that time.
Maniapoto Māori Trust Board and NIWA worked collaboratively during 2018-19 to support Ngāti Maniapoto whānau to reconnect with and participate in the assessment of their freshwater according to their values.
The ability to properly manage our freshwater resources requires a solid understanding of the flora and fauna which live in and interact with them.
This research project aimed to understand the causes behind differences in mercury in trout and other organisms in the Bay of Plenty/Te Arawa lakes—in particular what features of each lake explain why mercury in trout is higher in some lakes than in other lakes.

Latest videos

Diving deep to check up on our lakes

NIWA scientists jump overboard to check out the health the Rotorua Te Arawa lakes. The work is part of NIWA's national LakeSPI programme—an ecological health check for lakes throughout New Zealand. 
Underwater research to protect and maintain New Zealand's freshwater resources.

NIWA discusses, in depth, this year's most asked question—what is happening to our fresh waterways?
Once you have identified the problem, and applied the necessary tools for restoring kōura to your stream, the next phase of your project is to monitor the site to see whether restoration works.
The tools available for restoring kōura to lakes and streams depend on what is causing kōura to decline.
Habitat and biological factors factors affect why kōura rare or absent in your waterway.
First, determine if kōura should be present in your stream.
Identifying the factors causing kōura numbers to decline will allow you to determine which restoration tools you need to employ.
Habitat degradation and the introduction of exotic plant and fish species have adversely affected kōura populations throughout New Zealand. However, there are a number of measures that we can use to restore kōura populations in lakes, rivers and streams.

Launch at lake for weed management plan

Forty dignitaries and agency representatives gathered at Lake Karāpiro to officially launch a management plan for hornwort prepared for Land Information New Zealand (LINZ) and a stakeholder group by NIWA. The plan is aimed at reducing the nuisance impacts of the submerged weed hornwort (Ceratophyllum demersum) at this world-renown aquatic sporting venue. NIWA worked collaboratively with LINZ, Waikato Regional Council, Waipa District Council, local iwi and Mercury in developing lake weed management goals and objectives for the next ten years.

Freshwater Update 71 brings you the latest information from our Freshwater & Estuaries centre, including stories about: the implications of climate change on our freshwater; blocking nature to nuture a lake ecosystem; nine new freshwater and estuaries research programmes; and all about a co-development workshop for freshwaters.

This research project aimed to understand the causes behind differences in mercury in trout and other organisms in the Bay of Plenty/Te Arawa lakes—in particular what features of each lake explain why mercury in trout is higher in some lakes than in other lakes.
NIWA researchers have spent part of the last month keeping a close eye on the bottom of Lake Tekapo to find out what it looks like and what is going on below the lake bed.
Three plants of an endemic submerged quillwort (Isoëtes) were recovered from Lake Ōmāpere by NIWA in 1998, prior to the lake weed (Egeria densa) dying off and the lake switching into an algal dominated turbid state. No further isoëtes plants have been observed in the lake since that time.
A NIWA study has shown that environmental factors influence the level of mercury in fish and other organisms in lakes in New Zealand's North Island geothermal area

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All staff working on this subject

Principal Scientist - Freshwater Ecology
Principal Scientist - Aquatic Pollution
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Environmental Monitoring Technician
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Freshwater Ecologist
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Coastal Technician
Freshwater Fish Ecologist
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Environmental Scientist
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