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Lake Hakanoa

Lake Hakanoa, in a partly urbanised subcatchment east of the Waikato River, is in a wildlife refuge administered by the Department of Conservation that is managed on a day to day basis by Waikato District Council. Huntly domain is located on the western shore of the lake.

Lake Hakanoa is in a degraded condition. Due to poor water quality, the lake now experiences regular algal blooms and occasional fish kills. Waikato Regional Council has monitored its water quality since 2003, and has observed an improvement in lake water quality between 2008 and 2012.

The lake receives water from streams draining pastoral farmland, stormwater from residential areas and commercial premises, and in high flow conditions, the Waikato River.

The lake has been devegetated for more than 30 years. In the mid to late 1970s the lake was sprayed with herbicide, resulting in a permanent decline in aquatic plants and associated water quality changes.

It is unlikely that submerged aquatic species will regenerate in the lake due to its poor water clarity, the presence of pest fish, and fragile sediments prone to re-suspension.

The lake is inaccessible to stock and most of its margin is fenced.

Restoration of Lake Hakanoa is a high priority for Waikato District Council and the Lake Hakanoa Care Group. NIWA and the University of Waikato have reviewed and assessed restoration options for improving the condition of Lake Hakanoa. Waikato District Council has used this information to formulate a reserve management plan for Lake Hakanoa and Huntly domain. Waikato Regional Council has supported some aspects of these projects through its Environmental Initiatives Fund.

Lake Summary
  • Lake size
  • Maximum depth
  • Catchment size
  • Mixing pattern
  • Geomorphic type
Scientific data for this lake

This dashboard shows information on the data collected by the regional councils for two lake water quality and ecological condition measurements. Lake SPI (Lake Submerged Plant Indicators) and TLI (Trophic Level):

  • Water Quality

    Trophic Level Index (TLI)

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    This measure is the Trophic Level Index (TLI). The TLI indicates the lifesupporting capacity of a lake and is based on four water quality indicators.

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    Trophic Level Index (TLI) history for this lake

    Trophic Level Indicator (TLI) which measures four parameters: water clarity, chlorophyll content, total phosphorus and total nitrogen. From these parameters a TLI value is calculated. In cases where water clarity data is missing a three parameter TLI is calculated. The higher the value, the greater the nutrients and fertility of the water which encourages growth, including algal blooms. As a rule, higher TLI scores mean poorer water quality. View a factsheet on TLI

    TLI history for Lake Hakanoa
    TLI history for Lake Hakanoa data table
    Year TLI Score
    Year TLI Score

    What do the icons mean?

    Very good water quality. Trophic Level Index of less than 2. Microtrophic lake conditions.
    Good water quality. Trophic Level Index of 2-3. Oligotrophic lake conditions.
    Average water quality. Trophic Level Index of 3-4. Mesotrophic lake conditions.
    Poor water quality. Trophic Level Index of 4-5. Eutrophic lake conditions.
    Very poor water quality. Trophic Level Index of greater than 5. Supertrophic lake conditions.
    No data available.
  • Ecological Conditions

    Submerged Plant Indicators (SPI)

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    The LakeSPI status describes the ecological condition of the lake and is based on plants present.

    LakeSPI data provided by NIWA

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    LakeSPI history for this lake

    LakeSPI (Lake Submerged Plant Indicators) is a method of characterising the ecological condition of lakes based on the composition of native and invasive plants growing in them. A higher LakeSPI percentage result is associated with better ecological health:

    LakeSPI N/A
    LakeSPI {{spiData.grades[0].Value}}%

    The overall LakeSPI score is calculated using a Native Condition Index ('good' plants) and an Invasive Impact Index (introduced, non-native plants):

    Native Condition N/A
    Native Condition {{spiData.grades[0].NativeIndex}}%
    Invasive Impact N/A
    Invasive Impact {{spiData.grades[0].InvasiveIndex}}%

    A higher Native Condition percentage is also good, but a higher Invasive Impact percentage is bad. View a factsheet on SPI

    • SPI %
    • Native Condition %
    • Invasive Impact %
    LakeSPI history for Lake Hakanoa
    LakeSPI history for Lake Hakanoa data table
    Sample Date Status LakeSPI % Native Condition Index % Invasive Impact Index %
    LakeSPI information has been provided by NIWA.

    What do the icons mean?

    Excellent ecological health. A LakeSPI score of 75-100%.
    High ecological health. A LakeSPI score of 50-75%.
    Moderate ecological health. A LakeSPI score of 20-50%.
    Poor ecological health. A LakeSPI score of 0-20%.
    Non-vegetated. A LakeSPI score of 0% (there are no plants present).
    No data available.

Monitored sites on Lake Hakanoa

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