Tekapo trout tagging project underway
- Richie Cosgrove
Hundreds of Lake Tekapo trout have been relocated by Central South Island Fish & Game recently and most of them have a new important “accessory” on them.
The new “accessory” is a four-digit numbered tag by their dorsal fin that will help Central South Island (CSI) Fish & Game assess how adult trout originating from Lake Tekapo add to the canal fishery.
One key question CSI Fish & Game are asking from this project: how do these fish contribute to the catch of exceptionally large trout that the canal is world-famous for?
Lake Tekapo and the upper Tekapo River are managed by Genesis Energy for hydroelectricity generation and this is an important pathway for trout to migrate from the lake to the Tekapo Canal.
A unique combination of high rainfall events and infrastructure maintenance upgrades led to an extended period of flow from the Tekapo Control Structure (Gate 16) to the upper river from December 2019 to June 2020.
Genesis has helped the relocation by pumping out the Gate 16 pond for CSI Fish & Game which enabled the moving of 387 trout on Wednesday 22 July.
In addition, 414 trout were relocated from the upper Tekapo River to the Tekapo Canal since the extended flows ceased.
403 of the relocated trout have been tagged and CSI Fish & Game are asking anglers to report the capture of these trout, even if they are released.
Some of the tagged trout have already been caught, with most anglers preferring to release them to grow bigger.
If you do catch a tagged trout please report the unique four-digit tag number to CSI Fish & Game as well as whether it was kept or released, approximate location, and its estimated size. Phone 03 6158400 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
A further extended period of flow is forecast from late 2020 – early 2021 as the second phase of the intake project is completed.
Genesis wish to remind the public that the Tekapo Control Structure and upper Tekapo River is a hazardous environment and that they must always keep-out.