DOC Rangers poised for action on opening weekend

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Department of Conservation (DOC) rangers are planning a strong presence around Rotorua lakes to address compliance issues as part of this weekend's fishing season opening.

The opening of the new fishing season happens on October 1 each year and generates a flurry of fishing activity on Lakes Tarawera, Rotoiti and Okataina.

"Traditionally the department receives complaints around the start of the fishing season. Typically, it's a small number of people spoiling things for the others by lighting illegal fires, taking dogs into protected areas or camping in areas where it isn't permitted." senior ranger Erin Patterson said.

A team of rangers will be visiting key sites around the lakes to address compliance issues.

"Rather than responding to complaints as they come in, we're going to have an ongoing presence around the lakes to address issues as they arise.

"Fires on public conservation land around the lakes are prohibited. The effect of fire on plants and animals can be catastrophic and cost tax payers considerable amounts of money," Ms Patterson said.

For those wanting to fish in Lake Tarawera, DOC is reminding lake users that camping is only permitted at designated areas at Hot Water Beach, Lake Tarawera Outlet and Humphries Bay.

Hot Water Beach campsite is currently closed while the toilets are upgraded. However, a limited number of campsites will be available for pre-booking for Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights.

Half the campground is a construction site and entry is prohibited. One toilet will be available to those who have pre-booked campsites.

Further details on these designated camping areas are available from www.doc.govt.nz.

To report any suspected illegal activity on public conservation land phone 0800 DOCHOT (362468).

- Rotorua Daily Post

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