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Fish & Game Salutes Science Winner

Fish & Game Salutes Science Winner

Eastern Region Fish & Game officers have applauded the initiative of a Rotorua schoolboy and aspiring scientist – for his work on trout behaviour.

Eleven year-old Matthew Gatenby won this year’s Niwa Bay of Plenty Science and Technology Fair in late September.

The Mokoia Intermediate student used Fish & Game trout records in his project Travelling Trout. Matthew's experiment was based on the Te Wairoa stream at Lake Tarawera and focused on the conditions necessary for trout to spawn. He found that trout headed upstream before or on the same day as heavy rain.

The student has written to thank Fish & Game for making its data available, and provide details of the prizes he won in the science fair with their help.

Eastern Region Fish & Game Manager Rob Pitkethley says that officers are always keen to help students like Mathew with research, especially when it helps them on a path towards a science career.

“Youngsters like Mathew are perhaps the Fish & Game officers of the future, with a science degree behind them,” he says. “Or they could be contributing in some other research or conservation field, and we are only too pleased to pass on knowledge.”

Fish & Game has also been helping a Waikato University PhD student who has been researching smelt – the small fish which trout feed on. Her work has been progressing well and the Eastern Region Fish & Game Council has just been given an update on her progress.

Rob Pitkethley says that Fish & Game works quite hard at spreading the knowledge it’s gained about trout and game birds and their habitats and behaviour, speaking to schools, angling clubs and other groups.

“We are well aware that one way to increase fishing opportunities and participation in sport fishing is to lift the level of knowledge in the community – so that anglers and people wanting to try trout fishing can be more successful.”

Fish & Game plans to expand its angler education programmes, Rob says, to offer an increased number of angler training seminars across the Eastern Region this summer.


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