Bay of Plenty anglers will soon have a few hundred more trout to target on their back doorstep.
Fish and Game officers have released 700 trout into Lake McLaren and the Ruahihi Canal.
Fish and Game Officer Lloyd Gledhill says the release of 500 rainbow and 200 brown trout is an annual move to keep the waterways stocked for anglers.
He says the fish raised at Fish and Game's Ngongotaha hatchery were around 15 months old and they'll be catchable in about three to six month's time.
“Hopefully fishers will take the opportunity to come along and harvest them,” he said.
Tauranga Anglers Club member's children squealed with delight as they helped release the fish from the trout truck – as the freed fish raced around their feet in the shallows.
It's been a busy time for Lloyd Gledhill, who in recent days has trucked trout down the country to Palmerston North for a children's ‘fish out' event, and then on to Otaki to a lagoon alongside the river.
Around 100,000 trout are raised annually at the hatchery near Rotorua, and then transported, normally as one-year-olds but up to three years old, to new homes in lakes and waterways across the North Island, as far afield as Northland and Wellington.
Lloyd Gledhill says the ‘live trout truck' is the best way to transport the fish.
Its purpose-built stainless steel tank is divided into three sections that are insulated and oxygen-fed so the fish can be transported comfortably.
The tank holds just under 4000 litres of water and up to 5000 trout, depending on their age and size. When full, the load weighs around 10 tonne.
"Usually the fish go in the night before and we keep fresh water flowing through the tank.
The next morning we turn off the water flow, close up the tank and head off. The fish will be quite happy in the tank for at least 12 hours."
Lake McLaren, in McLaren Falls Park in the lower Kaimais, offers year-round fishing with a bag limit of two trout and no size restriction.
The lake and canal are stocked with rainbow and brown trout but also have some wild fish.
Family and other licences are available at local sports stores online at Fish & Game: www.fishandgame.org.nz
Ruahihi Canal, about 2.5km long, was constructed in the late 1970s and early 1980s to lead water from Lake McLaren and the Wairoa River to the Ruahihi Power Station adjacent to SH29.