Date: 15 November 2012
Approximately 4,300 juvenile rainbow trout were successfully released into Lake Rotoaira and its tributaries at the end of October 2012 as part of a joint exercise between DOC and the Lake Rotoaira Trust. Lake Rotoaira is a privately owned lake administered by the Lake Rotoaira Trust on behalf of its owners.
These fish were stripped last year from adult fish in neighbouring Lake Otamangakau and raised to the yearling stage (approximately 200 mm in length) at the Tongariro National Trout Centre in Turangi. Whanau from local Hapu marked these fish prior to release by removing their adipose fin, located between the dorsal fin and the tail. This will help the Trust collect valuable data on fish growth and survival rates to determine the success of the project over the next two to three years.
Approximately one third of the fish were released via boat at three separate locations on Lake Rotoaira based on direction from the local hapu. The first land based release occurred in the Wairehu Stream which flows alongside the Otukou marae.
Kaitiaki Ranger for Lake Rotoaira, Neal Turanga, said that it was great to see Kaumatua and Whanau of all ages get involved in this historic release of trout and enthusiastically liberate the trout into the Wairehu Stream.
These trout should return to their release site in approximately 2 years time to spawn in the Wairehu Stream and repeat the cycle on their own.
The remaining trout were released at the Opotaka boat ramp and at the Poutu Canal and it will be interesting to see how these fish grow and behave in the Lake Rotoaira catchment over the next couple of years.
Anglers who land fish identified in this way are asked to report key information such as length, weight and location to the Lake Rotoaira Trust Ranger based at the Lake Rotoaira campground.
Willie Marshall, Sam Konui, Randall Hart, Tevin Turanga, Neal Turanga and Michael Hill ready trout for transport
Mark Venman, Programme Manager
Department of Conservation Taupō-nui-ā-tia
Ph: +64 7 384 7106