Lake Alexandrina glowing example of trust's work

PETER SHUTT
Last updated 05:00 26/01/2013

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OPINION: The Lake Alexandrina Conservation Trust has again been at the forefront of habitat and access issues at this lake.

With so many local rivers discoloured in January the prime fishing location has indeed been Lake Alexandrina and it's to the credit of the Conservation Trust that improved access has been created with the removal of some patches of matagauri bush and litter.

Generally speaking, Lake Alexandrina is much respected by hut holders and visitors alike, and litter is not a problem. With the Trust's activities on planting and the creation of access, the scenic beauty of this piscatorial paradise is enhanced and much appreciated by all who enjoy this fishery.

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It's unfortunate that some youths feel they can disrupt the vital work of volunteer fire staff at holiday locations and destroy the harmony of the holiday period enjoyed by the majority, but it seems this is what occurred at a Waitaki Valley lakeside area at new year.

Such behaviour is obviously unacceptable to the public in general and perhaps the judiciary will treat the matter with some straight-forward talking and appropriate penalties.

Volunteer fire brigades and holidaymakers deserve better respect in such matters.

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Butterfish and paua are two prime catches being made off Oaro (south of Kaikoura) right now and the salmon fishery at the Conway River has been magnificent.

Holidaying in that area can be an advantage for all members of the family . . . the swimming, fishing, walks, and a multiplicity of coffee houses at Kaikoura means the family is catered for, and there is always the swimming with the dolphins or whale-watch to bring on an adrenaline rush.

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Tuna are being chased to extinction according to a report from the Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency. Trawlers operating in what has been described as the world's biggest and most important tuna fishery are being checked for illegal fishing techniques and false reporting.

Checks are said to have revealed that under-reporting or mis- reporting the species accounts for perhaps a billion Fiji dollars of lost earnings.

The Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency is working to put exact figures to the losses by building a comprehensive data network.

The 30 million square kilometres surveyed includes the Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Niue, Palau, Solomon Islands, Tokalau, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu, with Australia, New Zealand, France and the US also providing surveillance support.

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According to the secretary of the South Canterbury Anglers Club, the Timaru Information Centre at 2 George St, is the new booking agent for club huts at the Rangitata River and Lake Alexandrina.

This season's vast improvement in the salmon catches will likely see the Rangitata hut become very popular, and the two huts at Lake Alexandrina are always in demand. But vacancies do occur, and financial club members are invited to check the availability of accommodation at the Timaru Information Centre.

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The annual Moeraki Fishing Competition is scheduled for April 20. While that seems some time off it's appropriate that accommodation be secured by anglers outside the region.

Each year this Lions Club effort attracts a big crowd and the presentation ceremony has to be seen to be believed.

Coming as it does at a time when the salmon season is closed and river conditions are often unsuitable, the competition is a great opportunity to catch some marine species before putting the rod and reel away for winter.

- The Timaru Herald

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