Streams of­fer nice sur­prise

The Press - Escape - - SKIFIELDS - Peter Shutt

four years, with a ‘‘ski kindy’’ for three and four-year-olds that mixes day care with lessons.

Chil­dren over seven can switch to snow­board­ing if they wish.

Can­ter­bury is spoilt for choice, be it a ski day trip close to home, reg­u­lar kids ac­tiv­i­ties at the weekend or a week-long fam­ily hol­i­day in Queen­stown or Wanaka.

Cantabri­ans re­ally are best placed to en­joy snow sports on the South Is­land, and for a frac­tion of the cost to Euro­peans.

More than 100 sal­mon spawned in the south branch of the Ohape Stream, near Winch­ester, last month. That’s a huge in­crease over any pre­vi­ous year.

It’s thought to have re­sulted from a sal­mon egg im­plan­ta­tion pro­gramme ini­ti­ated by a cou­ple of keen sal­mon an­glers some three or four years ago.

A sim­i­lar sur­prise has greeted North Can­ter­bury Fish and Game staff at the spring-fed Waikuku Stream that feeds the Ash­ley River.

Af­ter iden­ti­fy­ing good sal­mon catches in the area dur­ing the angling sea­son, and higher-thannor­mal spawn­ing rates in low­land streams, fish­ery of­fi­cers did a spot check and found about 35 sal­mon and as many redds. The Geral­dine Cin­ema was packed last week for a four-hour meet­ing on wa­ter is­sues.

I think it was the most pro­duc­tive meet­ing on wa­ter qual­ity is­sues since the days when Mur­ray Rodgers, chair­man of the Wa­ter Rights Trust, ad­dressed Ecan on the sub­ject – that was a decade ago.

Pan­el­lists were Dr Mike Joy (Massey Univer­sity sci­en­tist and fresh­wa­ter ecol­o­gist), Willy Le­ferink (Fed­er­ated Farm­ers dairy chair­man), Dr Alistair Humphrey (Can­ter­bury med­i­cal of­fi­cer of health), John Donkers (chair­man Ir­ri­ga­tion NZ), Ge­off Sim­mons (econ­o­mist with The Mor­gan Foun­da­tion), and mod­er­a­tor Jane Deme­ter (a mem­ber of the Can­ter­bury Wa­ter Man­age­ment Com­mit­tee).

People came from as far as Christchurch, Ti­maru and Fairlie, and this shows the pub­lic is re­act­ing af­ter many years of ef­fort by the Can­ter­bury Wa­ter Man­age­ment Strat­egy.

There were few an­glers. Just half the au­di­ence claimed to have at­tended any pre­vi­ous wa­ter meet­ing, and so, in ini­ti­at­ing the meet­ing, the Orari River Pro­tec­tion Com­mit­tee was clearly ful­fill­ing an im­por­tant pub­lic role.

I know that many an­glers con­sider the pol­i­tics of fish­ing an abom­i­na­tion, but you ig­nore them at your peril.

The im­por­tance of wa­ter qual­ity and wa­ter quan­tity is at the very heart of ev­ery­thing an an­gler seeks.

I’m sure you want fish­able wa­ter in the streams and rivers that you fre­quent.

I’m equally sure you would want that wa­ter to be clean enough for your fam­ily to swim in, and safe enough for you to wet­wade with­out at­tract­ing a harm­ful rash.

Photo: STACY SQUIRES

Fi­nal act: Adying hen sal­mon over her redd in the Waikuku Stream.

Snow thrills: Noah, Isaac and Eli Bre­it­nauer in the snow in Bri­tain last year. They have moved toNewZealand and this year will en­joy the snow at lo­cal ski­fields.

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