Date: 15 August 2012
In early August 2012, as part of a small research project, the Department of Conservation released 5000 marked yearling rainbow trout into the Taupo catchment.
Fingerlings were released at the river mouths of the Waimarino, Tauranga Taupo and Tongariro Delta. Releases were also made at the Bain, Birch and Blue Pools on the Tongariro River and a small release in Lake Otamangakau.
This experimental release is aimed at researching the feasibility of reinstating and reinforcing the early part of the spawning run that sustains the winter fishery in Taupo. This is part of the project described in the last issue of the fishery magazine 'Target Taupo, and is endorsed by the Taupo Fishery Advisory Committee (TFAC).
Dr. Michel Dedual, resident fishery scientist says “Tarawera trout obtained from Eastern Fish and Game were specifically chosen due to the common genetic ancestry they share with Taupo trout, and their early spawning tendencies”. The fish released were of a suitable size to avoid likely predation by browns in the river.
As a follow up to previously published articles, further details about the project will be presented in the upcoming issue of Fish and Game and the next Target-Taupo issue. “Fears that this will undermine the “wild” status of the fishery are unfounded. This is a small experiment involving only 5000 fish, and will have no lasting effects on the wild spawning in the fishery” says Graham Whyman, Chairman TFAC.
The trout have been marked with a fluorescent dye identifiable by colour to their release location. The dye has been marked behind their right eye and is clearly identifiable to anglers. These trout will become part of anglers catch in two to three years. If anglers land any of these marked trout, please contact the Taupo-nui-a-Tia Area Office with the details of location, date, size and colour of dye.
A florescent marker visible behind the eye, typical of trout released in the Tongariro River