Another very successful season following last season’s record catch. This season started off very slowly with relatively low catches early in the season. The summer was marked by high river flows and frequent operation of the spillway, indeed late in the season spilling was almost continuous. Water quality remained relatively good without any major outbreaks of algal bloom in the lakes. Probably the highest flow regime since the capture programme commenced.
Normally transfers cease about the end of March, but as capture rates were still quite high EECo funded further capture into mid April until Elver movement ceased. This extra trapping accounted for over 200kg of extra elvers being transferred into Lake Karapiro.
A number of Elvers were also transferred by Waikato-Tainui / Ngati Korokii Kahukura into a couple of ponds in the Karapiro catchment as part of a customary fisheries enhancement project. Despite some quite major maintenance work being carried out at the Power station during the summer there were no adverse issues and the programme proceeded well. There were no problems with the capture or transfer equipment.
While not directly related, it is worth noting that due to the frequent operation of the spillways throughout the system as a result of unusually high rainfall, it likely resulted in a very successful spawning migration this autumn. If that is the case we may well see a marked increase in recruitment in the coming seasons.
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