Trout alert

Three trout wait for a flush of water to continue up the temporary diversion channel beside the Water of Leith, in Dunedin, yesterday. Fish and Game will be keeping a close eye on trout to ensure they are not getting stranded in the channel, operations manager Ian Hadland says.

The Otago Regional Council was widening and deepening the channel between the Leith footbridge and Forth St to improve flood protection for the central business district.

In consultation with Fish and Game, it had been decided the best way to prevent sedimentation entering the harbour and keep the river clean was to close off the bed and create a diverted channel, he said.

Mr Hadland had not received any reports of fish getting stranded in the channel but would be keeping a ''watching brief'' on the situation.

Trout should not be migrating at the moment so the trout in the channel might be curious or looking for food.

Fish and Game was concerned about the long-term habitat in the Leith and the flood protection work promised to deliver a more fish-friendly environment when finished, Mr Hadland said.

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