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Trotters Creek

Trotters Creek in North Otago has a catchment area of approximately 32 km2 extends for approximately 12 km. Trotters Creek drains the Horse Range, the upper Trotters Creek catchment is made up of a mixture of tussock and forest, while the lower reaches are dominated by pastoral farming.


Trotters Creek area is protected from south and southwest weather patterns by the Horse Range. It is affected by cool north-easterly sea breezes and has an average annual rainfall of 628 mm/yr. Shelter from northwest winds also means that evapo-transpiration is lower than on the more open valleys and plains further north. 

Original vegetation of the catchment consisted of snow tussock, manuka and other native bush. The native plant population has been modified with the spread of introduced plants, clearance and over-sowing of introduced pasture grasses. A large area of the
catchment is also used for forestry.

Sedimentary rock dominates Trotters Gorge, creating spectacular cliffs and bluffs. The soils overlying the rock formations are thin and when natural vegetation is disturbed the steep slopes are very susceptible to erosion during heavy rain. 

The lower section of river experiences seasonal runs of sea trout which are targeted by some anglers.

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Monitored sites in the Trotters Creek catchment

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Scientific Indicators
Scientific data for this catchment

This dashboard shows information on the data collected by the regional councils for water quality indicators, analysed as state and trend.

The state for the catchment is represented by the median concentration for the parameter across all sites within the catchment and then compares that value to the quartiles for all monitored sites in New Zealand.

Click on the parameters state icons to compare this catchment with others in the region.

  • State

    State shows how the median of samples from this site compares to other sites

  • Trend

    Trend shows how the quality of water is changing over time. Depending on the sampling history duration, five and ten year timescales are available:

Can I trust this data?

The Cawthron Institute has worked alongside regional councils to verify the processes and methods used for data collection, laboratory analysis of samples collected and the statistical analysis and interpretation of the results presented.

If all Cawthron ticks are green, then you can trust this data. However, if one or more ticks are orange, then conclusions should be treated with some caution.

For more details on each tick, see our 'Can I Trust This Data?' Factsheet.

Can I trust the data?
Data Collection

All samples were collected using approved field protocols and have been analysed in accredited laboratories. Therefore the data shown here has been collected and analysed following best practice.


All samples were collected using approved field protocols and have been analysed in accredited laboratories.

Trend - Adjustment for flow

This data is not flow adjusted. National guidelines suggest that flow-sensitive variables are flow 'adjusted' before trend analysis. Therefore, any trends shown here may be affected by variations in flow across sampling occasions.


E. coli



Black disc





Total Nitrogen


Total Oxidised Nitrogen


Ammoniacal Nitrogen



Dissolved Reactive Phosphorus


Total Phosphorus

Download Data

.ZIP file of indicator readings for all sites in New Zealand

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