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Angling is highly promoted by the Government and private organisations resulting in many tourists carrying out this activity. Anglers organize in several federations and associations.
They advocate for the protection of trout and salmon who feed on galaxiids.
New Zealand is famous for trout fishing; however, this introduced sports fish is one of the main threats to non-migratory galaxiids. So we asked John Dean, an experienced freshwater fisherman, about his thought on freshwater fish management.
Anglers + galaxiids in detail
Following the introduction of the trout, New Zealand has been considered as a world class fishery and one of the best wild trout fisheries in the world.
Average size of the trout is normally 3 to 4 pound, which is more than the usually get in their native environment. This makes New Zealand a place for searching trophy fish.
Consequently, fishing is really popular around New Zealanders and tourists.
Fish and Game is the main organization representing interests of fisherman. However, there exist many more fisherman organizations, clubs and associations. They lobby for protection of freshwater, develop sports angling, enhance and protect fisheries. The clubs organize meetings, field trips and other activities connected to fishing for its members. There exists a lot information on the internet (nzfishing.com) and many printed magazines about game fishing. These resources give extensive information on trout and salmon fishing in New Zealand.
It is also popular among tourists and there exist some companies that provide fishing vacation packages. (For example, New Zealand Angling Limited design and organize a wide range of trips, or the Best of New Zealand fly fishing, which help to plan and book individualized New Zealand trips).
The Otago Anglers Association is the oldest in New Zealand; it was established in 1881. This highlights the fact that trout was supported by community of fisherman in Otago for more than 130 years.
Fishermen don’t normally encounter galaxiids while fishing in Otago, unless it is whitebait. Generally they don’t know much about native fish.
New Zealand Federation of Freshwater Anglers even states that one of its functions is to protect native freshwater fauna. Nevertheless, no direct information about native fish was provided on their web-site.
Fish and Game and some fisherman that were interviews said that they would not mind isolating trout from some headwaters that are important for galaxiids and not popular among fishermen. Although fishermen were not sure if the use of rotenone should be the only option.
Ideas about trout eradication were heavily criticized on few forums. Concerns were that this initiative might become widespread and threaten presence of tout in New Zealand. Trout eradication with rotenone is not widely discussed, but some anglers raised the concern that there is not enough conclusive evidence over a large period of time to prove rotenone's safety. They refer to the recent experimental findings link to Parkinsonian effects.
So fisherman advocates for the protection of trout and salmon who feed on galaxiids; they don’t know much about native fish, but they are not against its protection.