Home' Fish and Game : August 2015 Contents Wellington Region
WANT TO GIVE SOMETHING BACK TO
the pursuit that you love? Then consider be-
coming an honorary Fish & Game ranger.
Wellington Fish & Game is looking to build on
an already strong network of voluntary rangers
throughout the region.
You’ll first need to complete a Compliance En-
forcement Ranger Training (CERT) course, which
we’ll put you through, before being awarded your
ranger’s warrant. You’ll then get to work closely
with Fish & Game staff and meet other rangers --
great people, most of whom are dedicated anglers
If you’re interested in finding out more, please
contact the Wellington Fish & Game office on
(06)359-0409, and ask to speak to our compliance
coordinator, Steve Pilkington.
HE HUTT RIVER IS AN INNER-CITY FISHERY
unrivalled anywhere in the world.
The latest drift dive data shows that the
mean number of trout per kilometre observed in
MORE LARGER FISH IN THE HUTT
A superbly conditioned
Hutt River brown
Mean large and medium
trout per km, Hutt River
Ranging is a highly rewarding and important
task for the ongoing management of our
recreational fisheries and game bird hunting
2015 was 81.12 compared to 118.65 in 2014. This
difference is not statistically significant.
There was a decrease in trout numbers in some
stretches dived, while at other sites, numbers
RANGERS REQUIRED DAMNATION IN WAIRARAPA
ELLINGTON FISH & GAME STAFF HAVE
finished a significant exercise sampling
all the major rivers and streams in the
Ruamahanga catchment for juvenile trout, a study that
has thrown up some very interesting information on
where the mature fish are spawning.
The project was prioritised as urgent given Greater
Wellington Regional Council’s push to facilitate the
construction of an irrigation dam in Wairarapa.
Fish & Game needed to find out where trout are
spawning so that any proposed dam didn’t impede their
Subsequently, juvenile trout have been collected
from across the catchment, with some waterways
proving more prolific than others. These samples
will be analysed against water chemistry and adult
specimens from the main stem Ruamahanga to give an
authoritative picture of the spawning values across all
the rivers and streams.
Fortunately, what has been identified as one of the
main spawning sites has been discounted from further
investigation for damming. Wellington Fish & Game,
along with local residents and
anglers, lobbied hard to ensure
We still have significant
concerns about the process
being run by the ratepayer-and
Water Use Project (WWUP),
as well as the adverse
impacts on water quality
from an increase in intensive
agriculture that an irrigation
dam would enable.
WWUP has been a
cheerleader for large scale
irrigation, and repeatedly
failed to inform the community
Wellington Fish & Game staff sampling a Wairarapa spring creek
increased, indicating that
fish movement occurs along
the length of the river.
Generally though, the
population of large brown
trout has increased, on
average, by 4% per annum,
while numbers of medium
brown trout per kilometre
observed within the reaches
counted have in the last 17
years increased, on average,
by 5% per annum.
The large number of medium sized fish counted
during drift dives indicates good recruitment and
survival during the last few years when no major
floods have been recorded.
and wider Wellington populace of the negative side of
such schemes, including the financial risks of funding
shortfalls, water being too expensive for farmers to buy,
the impending rates hikes on residents to pay for the
project, the environmental threats, and the privatisation
of a public resource.
Wellington Fish & Game manager Phil Teal points
out there is also something fundamentally wrong with
the regional council being both the dam promoter
and environmental regulator, as well as setting the
environmental bottom lines through its regional plan.
Independent experts have also been scathing.
Economist Peter Fraser has looked at WWUP’s
financials and labelled the project “a dud”, going so far
as calling it little more than “a make-work scheme for
the dam lobbyists”.
WWUP has failed to answer Fraser’s main question
surrounding the scheme: “Can farmers afford to buy the
Given the stakes are so high for the renowned
Ruamahanga fishery, we’ll keep you informed of
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