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Lake Serpentine Rotopiko South

Serpentine South is one of three small peat lakes that make up the Serpentine/Rotopiko lakes complex near Ohaupo. Prior to drainage and development of the Moanantuatua peat bog, the lakes formed a much larger single waterbody.

The lakes are managed by the Department of Conservation as part of a wildlife management reserve. They have significant, almost wholly native submerged plant communities, a rare feature both regionally and nationally.

Waikato Regional Council has monitored water quality in Serpentine South at least two to three times per year since 2007. Results indicate it has moderately high levels of nutrients, although its overall condition is better than most shallow lakes in the Waikato.

The lakes support a good diversity of native fish, including a mature population of shortfinned eels. However, they also contain several exotic fish species, including Gambusia, brown bullhead catfish, goldfish and rudd, which are of concern to management agencies.

After rudd were discovered in the Rotopiko lakes in 2001, the Department of Conservation (DOC), Waikato Regional Council and NIWA tested methods to control and/or eradicate them, in order to protect the important submerged plant communities in the lakes. DOC has continued to control coarse fish populations through a regular netting programme and has installed a fish barrier downstream of the lakes to prevent invasive fish movement into the lakes.

The Rotopiko lakes are fully fenced to exclude stock and have a riparian margin of at least 20m around them. They are a very high priority for protection and management amongst agencies and stakeholders working together to protect and improve their ecological condition.

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 and unitary authorities for two lake water quality and ecological condition measurements. Lake SPI (Lake Submerged Plant Indicators) and TLI (Trophic Level Index).  Select an indicator to see the historical monitoring data.

  • Water Quality

    Trophic Level Index (TLI)

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    This measure is the Trophic Level Index (TLI). The TLI indicates the life supporting 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 Serpentine Rotopiko South

    What do the icons mean?

    Very good water quality. Trophic Level Index of 0-2. 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.
    TLI history for Lake Serpentine Rotopiko South data table
    Year TLI Score
    Year TLI Score
  • Ecological Conditions

    Lake Submerged Plant Indicators (LakeSPI)

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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.details.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.details.NativeIndex}}%
    Invasive Impact N/A
    Invasive Impact {{spiData.details.InvasiveIndex}}% NA

    A higher Native Condition value indicates better ecological condition, but a higher Invasive Impact value indicates invasive plants are negatively impacting native plant communities.
    View a factsheet on LakeSPI for more information on these indicators.

    • LakeSPI
    • Native Condition
    • Invasive Impact
    LakeSPI history for Lake Serpentine Rotopiko South

    What is this graph showing me?

    This graph is displaying the overall LakeSPI score over time. The results denote the ecological condition of the lake.

    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.
    LakeSPI history for Lake Serpentine Rotopiko South data table
    Sample Date LakeSPI Status LakeSPI % Native Condition Index % Invasive Impact Index %
    LakeSPI information has been provided by NIWA.

Monitored sites on Lake Serpentine Rotopiko South

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