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Gisborne figure elected to lead role in Eastern Fish & Game

Gisborne figure elected to lead role in Eastern Fish & Game

The Eastern Fish and Game Council has elected well known Gisborne identity Murray Ferris as its new chairman.

The Eastern Council represents over 30,000 anglers and 3000 game bird hunting licence holders.

As one of 12 Fish and Game councils, it is responsible for managing sports fish and game birds over a large central North Island area which runs from Wairoa, west to Mt Ruapehu, and then north to Waihi.

The Eastern Fish & Game Region has trout fisheries of national significance, including the heavily-used Rotorua Lakes, and popular Lake Waikaremoana and the Ruakituri River within its eastern boundaries.

Murray Ferris who describes himself as “semi-retired and never busier,” a life-long angler and hunter, has paid tribute to the hard work of Barry Roderick who stood down after seven years of chairing the council.

A local community leader involved with various trusts and charities, and local elections, Mr Ferris says “you’ve got to contribute – put your money where your mouth is – and I’m happy to.”

An honorary Fish & Game ranger for the past nine years, Mr Ferris says says that looking forward, at risk of sounding clichéd, he’s passionate about preserving and sustaining the fish and game resources “we’ve enjoyed” for future generations.

Current issues that concern him include that some members of the public still have a false perception of Fish & Game. “A lot of people don’t realise that our only income is from licence sales,” he says, and think this is some sort of “money grab.”

People are “very comfortable” when Fish & Game’s not for profit nature and role is explained, he adds.

Eastern Fish and Game Council punches above its weight with an excellent cross-section of elected councillors who’ve operated in a “very democratic” manner, he says. And issues raised by people have been dealt with a highly professional and open way.

“The council does listen and act in response to sound submissions, such as those which are received in regular reviews of the Angler’s Notice.”

Mr Ferris says that hunters and fishers can be assured that the Eastern Council under his watch will continue its strong emphasis on stocking popular lakes where wild spawning is limited to maintain the highly used fisheries across the region.

The Council’s also put considerable effort into closely monitoring lake and river fisheries to ensure trout populations remain sustainable, using a variety of methods from annual ‘drift dives’ around the region, to angler surveys. Eastern’s hatchery in Rotorua raising 150,000 fish annually “doubles” as a valuable local attraction and educational centre.

Mr Ferris notes that Eastern staff are also deeply involved in some of the mallard research projects that Fish & Game has launched. Some of our senior officers have lead roles in the work that’s aimed at basically, how we boost duck numbers through wetland habitat development and other initiatives.

The Council has put a lot of focus on these areas in recent years, in addition to working with regional councils and other bodies, to try and protect or expand angler and hunter access to public reserves and private land, he says.

MURRAY FERRIS BACKGROUND NOTES
• 40 years in the print industry, including company manager
• Fish & Game Eastern Region councillor and honorary ranger
• Eastland Rescue Helicopter Trust trustee
• Former Tourism Eastland executive member

ENDS

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