Fish & Game swaps vehicles to release trout in Lake Tarawera
Fish & Game swaps truck for boat to release trout in Lake Tarawera
Fish & Game officers have swapped their normal ‘live trout truck’ for a boat – as they carried out a special release of young trout into Lake Tarawera.
In spring, thousands of trout are released into the Rotorua lakes – and normally they’re transported from the Ngongotaha hatchery in the truck, which has its own oxygen-fed tanks, and then ‘piped’ into one of the lakes.
Fish & Game officer Mark Sherburn says that in this more unusual release just before Labour Weekend, the second of their spring “liberations” – fish were ferried out by boat to release at three stream mouths – Waitangi Stream, Twin Creeks and Wairua Stream.
The boat release is calculated to enhance autumn shoreline fishing for anglers, Mr Sherburn explains, as the fish return to the places where they were released to spawn once they reach three years of age.
Mr Sherburn says the fish are transferred to a 210litre oxygenated tank on board the boat, and transported out to the stream mouths for release using a net.
“It’s a bit of an extra effort to take the fish out by boat and release in this way, there’s quite a bit of work involved.
“But it’s all about going the extra distance you could say, a strategy aimed to at making sure anglers have plenty of good fish to target by different methods. We know once the fish are released they’ll swim all around the lake for a couple of years, and be available to be caught by boaties.
“But once they become mature, at three years-old, they’ll return to that point of release. These release points are accessible to all anglers and that way various groups of fishers get a crack at them.”
It’s about providing good fish for the boating anglers during summer and also good shoreline fishing for anglers fishing around the stream mouths, he adds.
Spring liberations are now carried out through September, October, November and December in a staggered programme aimed at achieving better survival rates.