Methven Care Trust - News


Rare opportunity to see salmon release up-close

Sue van den Heuvel - Monday, June 19, 2017


The opportunity to get up close to watch the release of young salmon is the latest fundraising event for Methven Care Trust.

The Annual Salmon Smolt Release in conjunction with Montrose Estate and Fish&Game has been organised by neighbouring Rakaia Gorge farmer Donna Field.

On Sunday 23rd July (the last day of the school holidays), thousands of salmon smolt will be released by Fish&Game to boost the salmon population in the Rakaia River.  This only happens once a year providing a unique opportunity to learn about the life cycle of one of New Zealand's most popular fish.  The 5km drive to exit Montrose Estate via adjacent Cleardale Station allows locals to get a taste of high country life and the grandeur of the gorge.

With a sausage sizzle and coffee providing refreshments, the 9am to 1pm event is definitely worth getting up early for.  The actual salmon smolt release will happen between 10am and 10.30am.  However the salmon hatchery will be open for people to look around and lots of young salmon will still be in the creek.  When the salmon are released, children and other volunteers will be given the chance to carry buckets of smolt to the creek to tip them in.

As the location requires travel over farm tracks, the experience is not suitable for low clearance cars.  Interested parties are advised to wear warm clothes and wear gumboots or boots.

Donna says the Annual Salmon Smolt Release is a follow up to her previous fundraising venture in the form of the "Rakaia Gorgeous Ball" held for six years with half the money going to Methven House.

"I've always been keen on looking after the older people in our communities and the release of the salmon smolt will be a celebratory occasion in a beautiful spot and interesting to watch."

"My favourite part of the release is watching the eels come out to eat the smolt and getting so full they can barely move.  The eels are huge and impressive fish and it is wonderful to see them."

"It is impressive that the people of our town can find the energy and enthusiasm to fund housing for the elderly.  So many older people want to stay in Methven close to family and friends rather than go to Ashburton and we are creating that opportunity.  I would like everyone to get behind the project and contribute in any way they can."

The salmon smolt release - on the last Sunday of the school holidays - will provide an unforgettable experience before school routine kicks back in.  Mark Sunday 23 July in your diary now as we'd love your support at this inaugural event.



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