Lake Cameron (Kareaotahi)

General Information

Lake Cameron is highly influenced by peat formations. The northern margin of the lake is surrounded by mineralised soil and shallow downwashed peaty deposits. The southwestern margin faces the Rukuhia peat bog and the depth of eutrophic marshy peat exceeds 3 m (Thompson, 1994). No submerged macrophytes have ever been recorded in this lake, which has been attributed to low water clarity due to peat staining and an apparent high level of turbidity (Champion et al., 1993). Championet al. (1993) and Thompson (1994) estimated that the edge of the Rukuhia peat bog would subside below present lake levels by 2003 if Drainage continued at the rate observed in 1993. Currently the maximum lake depth is 1.5 m and a minimum lake level has been set, although there is no water control structure present.

Lake Cameron is dystrophic due to the high influence of the Rukuhia peat bog. This means the lake water is stained a dark brown colour. As the water colour is so dark, photosynthesising plants and algae are out-competed by bacteria (which don't need light to produce energy). Consequently, in a dystrophic lake the foodweb relies on bacteria more than algae as a base energy source.

Restoration Action

Restoration actions have included the eradication of the exotic Iris pseudacorus (formerly the dominant lake margin vegetation) and its progressive replacement with characteristic native vegetation; the monitoring and control through herbicide application of Egeria densa; the re-introduction of Hyridella menziesi (freshwater mussels, or kakahi); passing stormwater from new developments through vegetation before allowing it to enter the lake; and improvements to edge treatments to minimise mobilisation of sediment into the lake.

Lake Cameron Statistics

Area 3.4 ha
Maximum depth 1.5 m
Trophic state Dystrophic (peat stained)
Recreation Game bird hunting
Restoration progress Extensive native plantings and a small recreational area have been established on the northern lake edge of Cameron and the perimeter of the lake has been fenced.
Peat influence High, Rukuhia peat bog
Reserve status Allotment 509 Te Rapa Parish classified for recreation reserve by GZ 1985 p2088, with (the former) Waipa County Council appointed to control and manage the reserve GZ 1985 p2718. This appointment transfers to the now Waipa District Council.
Submerged vegetation None
Harmful algae Unknown
Invasive fish Unknown


Lake Cameron. Photo taken by Wendy Paul


Boswell et al. (1985). Waikato small lakes: resource statement. Waikato Valley Authority.

Champion et al. (1993). The Vegetation of the Lower Waikato Lakes. Volume 2: Vegetation of thirty-eight lakes in the lower Waikato. NIWA Ecosystems Publication No.8 August 1993.

Faithfull et al. (2006). Waikato peat lakes sediment nutrient removal scoping exercise. Environment Waikato Technical Report TR06/15.

Thompson M. (1994). Substrate coring around the Waipa Peat Lakes to aid in the establishment of Esplanade Reserving. BSc (Technology) Industry Report. University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand.