Meeting to hear plans for salmon

A five-member steering committee established to look at riparian enhancement of the Waitaki River, including establishing a salmon hatchery, will present its findings to a public meeting at Glenavy next month.

The committee was set up after a public meeting at Glenavy on January 26, which considered various proposals to boost salmon numbers in the Waitaki River, including a hatchery based on the successful McKinnon's hatchery on the Rangitata River and riparian enhancement, such as improving side braids for salmon spawning.

Steering committee chairman Jack Chandra said yesterday the steering committee would have its last meeting on March 21 before preparing for the public meeting on April 20.

The January meeting attracted about 120 people who were enthusiastic about plans to enhance the river's fishery.

At the next public meeting they will hear from the committee members, who will each outline one aspect of the proposals.

Five people were elected to the steering committee: Mr Chandra (Oamaru), Brent Packman (Waimate), Trevor Hill (Oamaru), Wayne Ross (Oamaru) and Linn Koevoet (Glenavy).

Mr Chandra said the steering committee had done much investigating since the January meeting, including looking at various options for establishing a hatchery.

It would recommend restoring and using a channel at Bell's pond, the intake for the Morven-Ikawai-Glenavy irrigation scheme on the north bank of the river.

It would also ask the meeting to discuss whether a riparian enhancement organisation, such as an incorporated society or an association, should be formed, what its deed should say, what resource consents might be needed for its work and what sort of functions it should have.

Mr Chandra said any new organisation formed from the meeting would decide what to do, and might well take advice from the Riparian Support Trust which runs the Rangitata hatchery.



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