Fish & Game’s ‘offbeat’ school holiday entertainment
Auckland/Waikato Fish & Game staff are preparing to deliver some “wild” school holiday entertainment at Lake Pupuke next week.
Right: Children are captivated by the sight of young trout darting in all directions during the Lake Pupuke releases.
For over 100 years, trout have been released into Lake Pupuke to provide a unique urban fishing opportunity on the North Shore of Auckland.
Fish & Game will carry out this year's release of 1000-plus trout into the lake at Sylvan Park on Tuesday, April 16 at mid-day.
Auckland/Waikato Fisheries Manager Dr Adam Daniel says the release has been timed to provide some much-needed outdoor entertainment for kids over the school holidays.
“Fish releases at the lake provide some excellent entertainment for observers and give kids the opportunity to get in the water with hundreds of trout spilling into the lake and darting in all directions,” he says.
The fish are transported to the lake from Fish & Game’s hatchery at Ngongotaha near Rotorua in a ‘live trout truck’ with oxygenated tanks.
Dr Daniel says “The real entertainment begins when the trout rush out of the dark tanker into the light.
“They are momentarily disoriented which allows children a rare opportunity to see the fish up close.”
“The young trout often end up sheltering on the lake’s edge giving plenty of opportunity for children to see and even touch them, contact which doesn’t harm them.”
Members of the public are welcome to attend from 11am on, with the release scheduled for around mid-day on the edge of the lake in Sylvan Park next to the Madloop Windsurfing School.
Parents or caregivers attending the event with children should prepare for them to get wet and dirty as most kids can’t resist touching the fish, and many get in the water to swim with them, Dr Daniel says.
“Supervision is needed as a number of kids do end up in the lake,” he adds.
Dr Daniel says that Fish & Game staff will be on hand with a couple of rods to demonstrate how to catch trout in the lake after the release, so any children who want to give trout fishing a go have the opportunity to learn some basic techniques.
Trout can be caught from the lake edge using spinners, soft bait or fly casting.
Anyone fishing for sports fish needs to have a valid licence but children under 11 can get a free licence and juniors (12-17 years-old) can buy a licence at a reduced cost.
Fishing licences can be purchased from most fishing retailers or from the Fish & Game website here