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Anglers warned not to risk eating 1080 trout

A national trout fishing advocacy group has warned anglers and others not to eat trout and eels because of a risk of 1080 poison in the fish.

David Haynes president of the NZ Federation of Freshwater Anglers said the warning to all anglers and customary harvesters was for at least a year.

“Beech mast events, like the one postulated by the Department of Conservation and the Minister of Conservation Nick Smith to occur this autumn, usually results in an increased mouse population,” he explained. “The minister intends to aerially topdress 1080 poison over the wilderness.”

As mice disperse they frequently swam across rivers and streams and were eagerly taken by trout and eels - a prime source of protein for the fish which resulted in many trout, reaching trophy proportions (10lbs plus.)

David Haynes, said unfortunately DoC's planned mass aerial 1080 bombardment of thousands of hectares of wilderness public lands had failed to take into account mice ingesting 1080 with the high likelihood of massive secondary poisoning of trout and eels. The poison has a “secondary” property when a predator or scavenger eating a 1080 killed or dying creature, also ingests 1080.

The poison slowly kills over 48 hours and any dying, struggling creature like a mouse attracts and is easy prey for a predator be it native falcons or fish like trout or eels.

“There’s a chance to see plenty of fish carcasses in rivers and lakes. I urge people not to eat any fish they catch as they may end up seriously ill, due to a sub-lethal dose of 1080, or worse,” he said.

The Federation intends writing to Nick Smith, Minister of Conservation, urging him to provide funds and resource to monitor the anticipated fish kill as well as 1080 presence in trout and native species such as eels koura and galaxids, as a result of the poison’s widespread use.

ENDS

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