Further releases from McKinnon's Creek Hatchery were carried out 23rd November. 5,000 to Ealing Springs stream (Rangitata) 5,000 to Butricks creek (Ashburton) 10,000 to Rangitata South spawning race.
The outside raceways have been water blasted, washed down with disinfectant and generally prepared for the transfer of fry from the hatching shed to outside.
Also the by-pass creek was cleaned out which necessitated closing down the shed water supply and pumping clean water through the shed from another source while the work of the digger continued.
In August we hosted a group of Fonterra New Zealand managers at the Hatchery including CEO Theo Spierings. They were most impressed at the hatchery and the results achieved and pledged their continuing support for the project.
Due to lower returns to the Hatchery last season, only 50,000 eggs were placed in remote incubators in 2016. 20,000 went to 3 Springs stream on the Opihi and 30,000 went to Rangitata South Spawning race.
The remaining eggs, approx. 110,000, were hatched in the Hatching shed at McKinnons Creek. These will be kept mainly for brood stock to be released back into the Rangitata in July 2017. Some will also be released at a later date to other South Canterbury rivers.
There have been excellent hatch rates from the remote incubators this year with the 3 Springs incubator achieving around 95% hatch rate, Rangitata South also achieved good results.