21 October 2009

Brown trout

I don't recall seeing trout in TeAwaoteatua stream before we leaned over the bridge a month or two ago to play Poohsticks and were startled by this long, cruising shape in the water below. Trout certainly live in the Pohangina (into which TeAwaoteatua stream debouches), but I'm not surprised they seem seldom to venture up this tributary: much of the year the stream is low, and it consistently carries a heavy load of sediment and other pollutants (cattle have unrestrained access to it from the adjoining paddocks). This brown trout, although large, seemed in poor condition, being long and eel-like. They were introduced to Aotearoa from the late 1860s on (my ancestor was responsible for establishing them in the South Island's Lake Alexandrina in 1881) and they're now widespread.

All content © 2009 Pete McGregor


the watercats said...

fantastic shot.. we have trout in the river near-by too, though you rarely see them because the water here is stained by the peat and is like guiness, especially at this time of year.. :-)

Ruahines said...

Kia ora Pete,
I recall Taylor as wee lad catching a few trout on a spinner not far from here, which we quickly released. I suspect there might be some heftier fellows up where the Pohangina is protected by the Ruahine. I am taking a trip in there late next week, though not if it raining like today!

butuki said...

Pooh sticks! Now that's something I'd never heard of until just now!

pohanginapete said...

Thanks Watercats. That water must be really something if it's like Irish Guinness — apparently it's much richer than the stuff we get here (in the words of one of our best cartoonists, "You could spear a shark through 40 fathoms of it")

Kia ora Robb. Until 2004, trout were either absent from or very scarce in the Pohangina above the waterfall below Centre Creek; however, the floods that year apparently changed the river there to allow trout further up the river. I can't vouch for that, but personally I'd be saddened if they have finally made it up there. Most of the other Ruahine rivers have trout, so the anglers have plenty of magnificent sport, and it would be nice to know the Pohangina headwaters were still unaffected by the impacts of trout.
Best of luck with the weather. Labour weekend's traditionally bad, and right now, with this rain, the river will be well up. Take care up there.

Miguel — Pooh sticks is great fun, for kids of all ages ;^)