81,000 salmon released in river
The Waimakariri River is swimming with salmon after more than 81,000 were released into it today.
Fish & Game hatchery manager Dirk Barr said some of the three-month-old chinook salmon had been grown in the hatchery, with the remainder donated by the Aoraki Salmon Hatchery.
He said the salmon, which on average weighed 25 grams, were released near the mouth of the Waimakariri in the hope they would head to the ocean and return to breed when they reached maturity in a few years.
Barr said there was only about a 1 per cent return rate as the ocean was a ''pretty wild environment''.
''That's the nature of the game,'' he said.