Hooked on fishy fundraising scheme

The first salmon get home, caught by (from left) Barry and Rosemary Zwies in Waikakahi Stream...
The first salmon get home, caught by (from left) Barry and Rosemary Zwies in Waikakahi Stream just before the Waitaki River in the inaugural Glenavy salmon run on Saturday. Photo by David Bruce.
About 500 fake salmon ran down the Waikakahi Stream on Saturday, while anglers chased the real thing in the neighbouring Waitaki River on the last weekend of the salmon fishing season.

The Waikakahi Stream fish were plastic salmon in the first Glenavy salmon run, a venture thought up by local farmer Chris Paul to raise funds for the community.

About 500 of the small orange salmon were released in to the stream at Te Maiharoa Rd. Each was numbered and bought for $5 by people competing for the $500 prize for the first one to arrive just upstream from where the stream joined the Waitaki River.

Quite a few additional tickets were sold at the start before the entries were poured into the stream.

There was a bit of a slow start, as the fish congregated in a circle in a small whirlpool, but then away they went.

The first one home was a bolter, about 90 seconds ahead of the next stragglers to arrive.

In addition, there were 10 spot prizes for others home first, then three spot prizes drawn for those who were slower.

Quinn Anderson (5), from Glenavy School, won the top prize.

This year, the event was expected to raise about $2000 for the Glenavy School.

Mr Paul has bought, numbered and sorted 3000 of the small fish, and hoped that on future annual salmon runs all fish would be sold, with funds going to community projects.

He got the idea from other areas which used plastic ducks.

''Salmon are better for us,'' he said.

Weighted in the bottom, they floated the right way the entire journey.


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