Tomorrow 15,000 King salmon smolt are being released into West Coast Lakes. And that signals good news ahead for the 2014 season - as the mature King Salmon swim up the rivers to spawn, offering a prized catch for anglers.
The smolt are being brought to Westland by New Zealand King Salmon as part of an agreement to supply Fish & Game New Zealand with fish from its Waiau Hatchery near Rotherham in North Canterbury.
When the salmon return to the West Coast rivers, they will be between about 6 and 11lbs in weight, lovely size for sports fishers. The fish are being loaded and shipped to the following places tomorrow:
1. 7am Load the tanker at Waiau Hatchery with 15,000 salmon at Rotherham (Jon Bailey is NZ King Salmon freshwater manager based in Takaka, tel: 029 289 7037)
2. Drive to Lake Haupiri (Grey River) Boat ramp for first 5000 fish release. Access via Lewis Pass, Reefton, turnoff on Nelson Creek Road at Ngahere. This drive may take 2.5 hours (Mike Wells from NZ King Salmon will be accompanying the truck - 029 469 2700)
3. Drive to Lake Kaniere via Hokitika for second 5000 fish release. This drive may take 2 hours.
4. Drive South to Lake Ianthe (Wanganui River) for third 2500 fish release. Drive may take1.5 hours
5. Drive south to Lake Mapourika (Oakarito River) for final 2500 fish release (1 hour).