what started the decline was the government closing gleariffe in the 1990’s coupled with a large spawning run, neglect of the spawning areas so that they were overgrown. and conditions at sea. whether you like it or not glenariffe was providing about 80% of the salmon being caught from 1960 till the mid 90’s. the release of salmon smolt in the lower reaches do not affect the ‘wild’ spawning run as they return to low land streams. the 1 fish in the kaiapoi is so that a new trial can be tested in releasing spawning fish into streams deemed suitable for salmon in the hope of establishing a greater and more variety spawning areas. there is also a trial following a successful method used by canada and the states of releasing what they call buttoned up fry, these are about 30 to 35mm long. these are released up river at a time when there are few salmon fry in the rivers. apparently it is cost effective and successful up there, they even release them using chopper monsoon buckets. work in the main spawning areas of fencing and clearing weeds is producing greater areas for spawning . one problem is that some ideal streams are so hard packed that the fish don’t use them. so releasing smolt in the lower reaches is just replicating what glenariffe was doing up until the mid 90’s, the difference now is that there are multiple points of release it also means that there are more salmon available to anglers. the bad run i am talking about was from the mid 1990’s to the mid 2000’s. what this did was generate a change of philosophy from letting the fishery look after itself to assisting and supplementing the run and it is succeding with the help of volunteers.