Lake Rotokauri

General Information

Lake Rotokauri is part of the Waipa peat lake complex, however, it is not as closely associated with peat bogs as some of the other lakes in the region (Warr, 1998). Lake Rotokauri is currently in a turbid phytoplankton dominated state following the collapse of dense Egeria beds in 1995-96.

Restoration Action

There has been some restoration progress made with a sediment trap placed on the main inflow to reduce the amount of sediment entering the lake. The lake has been fenced to keep it free of stock and a riparian margin has been established between the lake and farming activities. Wetland areas adjoining the lake are undergoing restoration.

Lake Rotokauri Statistics

Area77 ha
Maximum depth4 m
Trophic stateHyper-eutrophic
CatchmentResidential, industrial and pastoral
Restoration progressWeir, some riparian plantings
Peat influenceModerate, lightly peat stained
Reserve status 
Submerged vegetationNone currently, native species previously found are Nitella hookeri, Potamogeton ochreatus and P. crispus. Egeria densahad formed beds over almost 100% of the lake bed by 1990 and these populations crashed in 1995-96, leaving the lake in a turbid algae dominated state.
Harmful algae 
Invasive fishCatfish, rudd and gambusia.


Lake Rotokauri. Photo taken by Wendy Paul


Barnes, G. (2002). Water quality trends in selected shallow lakes in the Waikato region: 1995-2001. Environment Waikato Technical Report No. 2002/11.

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.

Town, J. (1980). Waikato small lakes: resource statement. Waikato Valley Authority Technical Publication No. 16.

Warr, S. (1998). Review of the current status of Lake Rotokauri. Summary Report Prepared for Waikato District Council and Hamilton City Council.