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Fish & Game optimistic for trout in bloom-hit lake

Fish & Game optimistic for trout in bloom-hit lake

Hawke's Bay Fish & Game officers are keeping a close watch on the algal bloom that’s hit Lake Tutira – but are not overly concerned for the lake’s trout population, given what’s happened in the past.

Fish & Game officer Tom Winlove says there’s been some speculation in the media about the impact on 2750 young trout released in September, but there’s no evidence at this stage to suggest a major fish kill.

“There have been no reports or evidence to suggest that fish are dying in any numbers which fits with what’s happened when previous blooms have occurred,” he says. And the Hawkes Bay Regional Council has found that overall water quality hasn’t been impacted.

Mr Winlove says there’s no doubt that this is one of the worst blooms of recent times but they are optimistic for the trout’s survival, based on what’s occurred in past years.

“While we’re not trying to downplay the situation, people do need to keep things in perspective – and take account of the fact that these blooms occur annually – with little impact on fish populations.

It can be assumed that the “nice healthy fish” caught last winter had been exposed to a bloom as young fish, with no apparent ill effects, he says.

“We do of course, support the advice of health officials and scientists at the Hawkes Bay Regional Council – don’t eat the fish while the bloom is present.”

Mr Winlove says Fish & Game sees no reason for anglers to stop fishing if they can find clear water at the lake, assuming they take reasonable precautions to reduce their contact with the water, and practise catch and release.

Normal fishing waders of the sort most anglers wear should provide plenty of protection.

Fish & Game is happy to advise anglers about fishing the lake, but health-related question should more properly be directed towards the health authorities and the council, Mr Winlove says.

ENDS

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