River teeming with fine trout

22:14, Feb 22 2013
fish count
FISH COUNT: Fish and Game officers Jacob Smyth, left, Zane Moss and Bill Jarvie begin their nine-hour drift-dive yesterday checking the Mararoa River as part of their annual Southland river surveys checking trout numbers.

An annual underwater survey yesterday showed a dramatic improvement in the Mararoa River with the highest trout count since didymo was discovered.

Southland Fish and Game senior fish and game officer Zane Moss said the team surveyed trout populations down seven Southland rivers each year to get an indication of river health and trout population.

The technique, which included the divers spreading themselves in a line across the river, had been used for more than 20 years.

Mr Moss and officers Jacob Smyth and Bill Jarvie drift-dived about 20km down the river yesterday, which took about nine hours.

Mr Moss said the Mararoa River showed a dramatic improvement and the team had seen about 40 large trout per kilometre.

It was the most fish they had counted in the river in more than a decade and the highest count since didymo was discovered in the Mararoa River.

The fish were also in good condition, which showed the ecosystem was healthy, he said.

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