Anglers' outcry saves trout nests
Meridian Energy has responded to an outcry from anglers and Fish & Game by increasing water flows to the upper Waiau River from Lake Te Anau .
The higher flows should assist in reducing losses of trout eggs and fry from redds - trout nests - in the gravels of the upper Waiau River, Fish & Game said.
The energy giant, who sells itself on a green image, was accused last month by anglers and Fish & Game of leaving thousands of trout eggs above the water line.
Fish & Game manager Maurice Rodway said a reduction of water flows, controlled by Meridian Energy, in the upper Waiau River resulted in about 90 trout redds in the river being stranded. Each redd could hold up to 3000 trout eggs.
But after talks last week between Fish & Game and Meridian Energy, flows were increased.
Te Anau Fish & Game ranger Bill Jarvie said after discussions with Meridian the company responded immediately with an increase that would cover almost all of the redds.
There would still be some losses but the flow increase had certainly been a great help and was much appreciated, Mr Jarvie said.
Meridian Energy said the reduction in flows was a response to inflow patterns into the catchment and the need to plan for programmed outages by Transpower.
Meridian Energy spokeswoman Michelle Brooker said the company had to manage its operations so it made the most of the water it got and to meet operating requirements of the permits it held.
“Given the inflow patterns and future outage requirements, this situation can't be completely avoided. However, we've put in place lines of communication with Fish & Game that we hope will reduce as far as practicable the risk of such events recurring,” Ms Brooker said.
Mr Jarvie said the fishery in the upper Waiau and lakes Te Anau and Manapouri was an important one, with about 40,000 angler visits to the lakes and Upper Waiau each year.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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