The hatchery at McKinnon's creek was set up initially to bring more salmon back to the Rangitata river, and others, for anglers to catch and this remains true today. Unfortunately returns to the hatchery have dwindled in the past few years along with salmon in other Canterbury rivers and this has also contributed to volunteers deciding not to carry on. This of course is understandable however the upshot is that we either shut up shop altogether or urgently attract more passionate individuals to help with the day to day running of the hatchery.
The McKinnon's Creek hatchery has a future and there are a number of possibilities down the track that will secure this, but we must have more help. A new volunteer recently to the hatchery when asked why he came out to help stated that anyone doing something to help save the salmon run, is worth supporting. A great sentiment.
At present we have around 6000 fish to release later in the year when ideal conditions prevail. These fish were fin clipped a few days ago. Many thanks to those who were asked and came along to help.
A big thanks also to those individuals who helped with the Winnemem Wintu Salmon sampling program last winter. This program was to help with genetic matching of salmon in NZ for the North American First nation people and done in conjunction with CSI Fish & Game. The tribe made a financial donation to our hatchery for our help which was gratefully received and we have communicated to them our thanks.
If anyone can help us in the future please contact Phil (0274422454) or Alan (033392139). Helpers need to be relatively close to the area (Timaru - Ashburton) and be prepared to travel to the hatchery on the lower Rangitata river, South side. Full training will be given and an interesting and worthwhile experience is assured.