Boost for fish stocks at Lake McLaren near Tauranga

Fish & Game has released hundreds of young trout into Lake McLaren and the Ruahihi Canal in the lower Kaimai ranges near Tauranga – to boost the fishing stocks for local anglers.

Top right: Brittney Stuck from Pennsylvania, U.S., takes a turn at releasing trout at Lake McLaren.

McLaren Falls Park has year-round fishing with a bag limit of two trout and no size restrictions. The lake and canal are stocked annually with rainbows and brown trout about this time of year, and there are also wild fish present.

Fish & Game Officer Lloyd Gledhill says the 700 fish, just over a year old - 500 rainbows and 200 browns - were released last evening (6pm, October 16) into the lake at various locations around Cherry Bay, and in the canal near the entrance to the Park. 

“These hatchery-grown fish have all had the right pelvic fin clipped so that we can track their growth and survival when anglers send in their catch details,” he says.

Mr Gledhill says that Tauranga Anglers Club members turned out as usual to take part in the release of fish.

“It’s now a pretty longstanding tradition to hand over some buckets filled with fish to the youngsters, members’ kids, so they can take part – tipping trout into the water.”

Lake McLaren offers a very family-friendly and scenic fishing location, Mr Gledhill says.

There is vehicle access to the park and people can have a picnic by the lake using coin operated barbecues, and have a fish, he says. 

FG Tauranga Anglers Club member Stuart Vaughan helps release fish at Lake McLaren.

Stuart Vaughan from Tauranga Anglers Club shows off a bucketload of trout before releasing them.

A fishing licence is required to fish for trout, and an option for families is to purchase a family licence.

It allows two adults, parents or grandparents, and up to four children or grandchildren to fish under the one licence.

BACKGROUND

By taking note of which fins are clipped you can determine yourself how old your fish is, and therefore how much it has grown in that time, even if you intend to release it. When determining left or right, it is always the fish’s left or right.

 In an even year (2018):

The right pelvic clips (Rp) are around 1, 3 or 5 years old

The left pelvic clips (Lp) are around 2 or 4 years old

If you catch a trout in an odd year (say 2017), the clips are as follows:

The left pelvic clips (Lp) are around 1, 3 or 5 years-old

The right pelvic clips (Rp) are around 2 or 4 years old