Letter to all Freshwater Anglers
Dated 11:16 pm Thursday 30 November 2017
Fish & Game wants to draw your attention to the closure to all fishing in two Canterbury lakes, Lake Grasmere and Lake Sarah.
Both lakes are beside State Highway 73 through Arthur’s Pass.
The lakes have been closed while Fish & Game investigates the discovery of trout living there which have unusual rashes and spots on them.
The symptoms have been found on both brown and rainbow trout.
Fish & Game has gathered samples of these fish and sent them for analysis by experts at the Ministry for Primary Industries.
MPI and DoC have been alerted to the discovery and access to both lakes has been closed. Signs have been put up notifying anglers of this.
Fish & Game is now working closely with MPI on the issue.
At this stage, it is not known what is causing the rashes. Results of the scientific tests are not expected for several weeks.
While we do not know if there is a threat, Fish & Game is always very concerned by such discoveries and believes it is prudent to act immediately and notify you as licence holders about what is happening and ask for your help.
We ask that if you have been fishing in the Canterbury region that you thoroughly clean all your fishing tackle and equipment, including boots, waders and nets immediately.
You must be scrupulous with your cleaning.
Thoroughly drying your equipment in the sun is also recommended as the sun’s UV light is a powerful sanitizer.
In the coming weeks, all anglers should remain vigilant and continue thoroughly cleaning your fishing tackle and equipment after each trip.
This applies to all anglers, especially with the Christmas holiday season coming up and anglers travelling throughout the country.
If you catch any trout which have unusual rashes, please notify your nearest Fish & Game office and ideally take the fish to them.
As information becomes available, we will be posting it on the Fish & Game website [www.fishandgame.org.nz]www.fishandgame.org.nz Please check the website regularly to ensure you have the latest news and advice.
Thank you for your help and co-operation,
Fish & Game
It’s just odd’: Rash-covered fish prompt Canterbury lakes closure
Follow up article on Stuff.co.nz Check out the comments at the bottom!
UP-date and further lake closures
North Canterbury Fish & Game have closed the surrounding lakes; Hawdon, MaryMere, Pearson and Lyndon to fishing as a precaution while we wait for the results of testing from the Ministry for Primary Industries lab in Wallaceville.
Canterbury Lakes re-open for fishing after MPI gives all clear
Dated 26 January 2018
Canterbury’s high country lakes have been re-opened to trout angling after the Ministry of Primary Industries gave the all clear.
The high country lakes near Arthur’s Pass – Lyndon, Pearson, Grasmere, Sarah, Hawdon and Marymere – were closed just before Christmas after trout caught there were found to have rashes over their sides and bellies.
Fish & Game sent samples of the afflicted trout for analysis by MPI experts, along with native fish also found dead in the lakes.
MPI experts say they could not find any virus or bacteria in the trout they tested and whatever caused the rashes was not infectious.
They suggest that something in the environment is responsible.
Based on the results, MPI experts have given the all clear to re-open the lakes and Fish & Game says that will happen immediately.
Fish & Game New Zealand chief executive Martin Taylor is welcoming the news.
“We are glad that whatever caused the rashes isn’t infectious. But at the same time, the fact that it occurred is of concern”, Mr Taylor says.
“MPI suggests that the cause is environmental. What we do know is water quality in lakes Grasmere and Pearson has been declining over the last decade and combined with a hot summer, this is the most likely reason for the rashes.
“With the continuing drive to intensive farming in the high country, this sort of situation is sadly more likely to occur in the future,” Mr Taylor says.
Martin Taylor says Fish & Game will continue to monitor the situation.
Fish & Game’s North Canterbury Council chair, Trevor Isitt, says the all clear for the lakes is a relief.
He says the lakes will be re-opened straight away and anglers and their families can return to them knowing they are free of anything invasive that could spread to other waterways.
Mr Isitt thanks anglers for their support during the lake closures.
“We would like to thank anglers for their patience through this period. We know it’s been frustrating, but it’s better to be safe than sorry when dealing with such threats to our trout fishery.”
Fish & Game NZ
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