Lake Rotoiti is set to drop 100mm below its normal operating range, as the annual drawdown commences over the next few days.
Bay of Plenty Regional Council lowers the lake by an extra 100mm each year as part of consent guidelines to help facilitate flushing of the Ōhau Channel and reduce flood risk in the channel.
Subject to weather constraints, the council will lower lake levels gradually and hold the lower levels for a few weeks to allow inspection of lake margins and assets like jetties and boat ramps.
Council's Okere Gates operator, Graeme O'Rourke, said under the current consent conditions, council had between 36 and 55 days during the winter months to achieve this drawdown each year.
"At this time of year, I try to look ahead through the weather forecasts and find a few weeks of low rainfall – this is the best opportunity to get the lake levels down and flush the Channel.
"That means that river users, like the rafting community, can expect to see the gates fully open at some stage shortly as we work to get the annual drawdown completed as painlessly as possible."
He encouraged anyone with any issues or observations around Lake Rotoiti to note the details and take photos for the record before contacting the council.