400 native plants put in along a ‘gem of a stream’

Wānaka Catchment Group’s Wai Ora Project manager Tom Allen sets up guards for the native plants...
Wānaka Catchment Group’s Wai Ora Project manager Tom Allen sets up guards for the native plants at Fern Burn at Alpha Burn Station last week. PHOTO: MASON COURT, OTAGO FISH & GAME
A native restoration project is progressing on a high-country station in Upper Clutha.

The Wānaka Catchment Group's Wai Ora Project and Alpha Burn Station have provided more than $25,500 to install 850m of fencing for a streamside paddock retired from grazing.

Wai Ora Project manager Tom Allen said members of the catchment group and the Upper Clutha Angling Club joined the landowner and Otago Fish & Game to help plant 400 locally sourced native plants near tributary Fern Burn on the station on Tuesday.

"Thank you to the Upper Clutha Anglers for getting these plants in the ground. We look forward to watching this site develop in the years to come."

A $2500 habitat grant from Otago Fish & Game contributed towards the plants and guards.

Otago Fish & Game officer Mason Court said Fern Burn was an important tributary of Lake Wānaka.

"We’re thrilled Wai Ora and Alpha Burn Station are pitching in to restore native habitat in this gem of a stream," Mr Court said.

"Fish & Game is delighted to support this project through its habitat fund.

"As well as providing accessible fishing opportunities, Fern Burn is used by hundreds of rainbow trout each year for spawning."

Most of the 400 plants were native dryland species, which helped filter nutrients from the surrounding farm land, while other plants near the stream would provide cover and shade for trout.

Upper Clutha Angling Club president Ian Cole said he was pleased with the number of club anglers who had volunteered to help.

"It illustrates a willingness in the community to get involved in worthwhile projects."