Acclimatisations Societies Articles

Elsa Kelly has searched many newspapers while she has been researching the greater Pye Family Tree. She has come across some interesting articles related to Acclimatisations Societies. Below are samples of some she has found.

Taken from The “LYTTELTON TIMES” Correspondence Column, Lyttelton for 9 July 1866
Sir,–Allow me through your valuable paper to make a suggestion to the Canterbury and other Acclimatisation Societies, which, I think, might prove of service. To acquaint each other by circular, published periodically of the local resources and things animal or vegetable imported. If this were done mistakes might be prevented, and requirements often locally supplied. Unnecessary correspondence causes trouble to all parties, as instance the application to Dr Hooker for Kew grass, when Nelson, in the same island, could furnish any quantity. By the same means a zealous Australian member might have been spared the notoriety he gained not many years ago, by sending packets of watercress seed for introduction into New Zealand.
Your obedient servant,
Christchurch, July 6, 1866
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From the Evening Post 22 November 1887
(By our Special reporter)
One of the of ‘side–shows’ of the agricultural gathering at Masterton last week, which presented features of more than ordinary interest to the city visitors, was the series of fish hatcheries and rearing ponds, managed under the auspices of the Wellington and Wairarapa Acclimatisation Society. The establishment is conveniently situated close to the business portion of the township, adjoining Messrs Lowea and Iorns’ auction yard, and is abundantly supplied with pure water from innumerable strong springs which rise to the surface in different parts of the Association’s leasehold property.

For the last 14 months the hatcheries have been conducted under the management of Mr L F Ayson, one of those enthusiastic disciples of Izaak Walton to whom the care of his finny pets and study of their habits has become a pleasure rather than a toil. Mr Ayson’s policy has been, while paying all possible attention to the distribution of healthy young fry in the rivers of the provincial district, to devote his chief efforts to the rearing of stock fish, so that plentiful supplies of ova may be assured for future years, and provision be thus made against misadventure. With this end in view, he has kept in the ponds very considerable quantities of the best–grown fish that have passed though his hands, and estimates that two years hence, at the ordinary rate of increase, the trout of different varieties now on hand will yield fully a million of ova.

In the hatching–house there are at the present time only about 4000 small fry of the Loch Leven variety, all the rest having attained sufficient growth and hardihood to be transferred to the out–of–door ponds. The inspection of the better–grown fish is a sight that is enough to make the angler’s fingers itch for a grip of his favourite rod.

The pools are broad and deep, and in some places prettily overgrown with water lilies, amongst which the fish sport in very lively fashion. The largest stock at present on hand is that of Loch Leven trout, of which there are some 60 three–year–olds, averaging about 4lbs weight, 300 yearling, and 1100 three months old, besides the 4000 young fry which are now fit for distribution. During the present season about 3000 of this variety have been placed in the Ruamahunga and Waingawa rivers, and in some streams in the Hawkes’s Bay and Wanganui districts. The American brook trout will, Mr Ayson thinks, be the sporting fish par excellence for New Zealand, on account of its hardiness, and the readiness with which it has adapted itself to acclimatisation. Of this variety he has under his care about 100 three–year–olds (averaging 3ld each), 150 yearlings, 250 six months ols (part of a shipment of ova imported from Scotland some months ago), and 1500 four months old fully 15,000 brook trout have lately been liberated in the rivers of the west coast of the island, and in the Ruamahunga, Waipoua and other streams of the Wairarapa district. There are still about 1400 on board ready for distribution.

Some of the mature fish amongst the stock of brown trout will probably turn the scale at 7lbs or 8lbs, and Mr Ayson is keeping about 30 healthy Scotch burn trout, which he expects to furnish considerable quantities of spawn next season. Small supplies of Rhine salmon and Lake Geneva trout, which have been hatched within the lasr few months, are progressing very satisfactorily, and there are about 50 yearling salmon on hand, which are both healthy and vigorous. The trout in the larger ponds are especially lively, and rise very readily to the quantities of finely–cut liver, on which they are fed. The inhabitants of Masterton in general show an interest in their little finny neighbours, and Mr Perry, one of the local butchers, has for some time past given practical proof of his enthusiasm by supplying food gratuitously for the occupants of the ponds.

The manager has been greatly assisted in his labours by Mr Rutherford, Secretary of the Society, and Mr G Beetham, M. H. R.,the later gentleman having always been indefatigable in promoting all movements connected with the stocking of the rivers in the Wellington Provincial District.

Visitors to Masterton should not miss the opportunity of visiting the fish–ponds, and they will find Mr Ayson always ready and willing to impart information.
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Nelson Evening Mail for 9 January 1897

The salmon fry in the Acclimatisation Society’s ponds at the Queen’s Gardens are doing remarkably well under the care of Mr Nalder. The little fellows are now nearly three inches long, and as lively as crickets. Only one of the whole lot has died, and that is a remarkably good record. Mr Nalder deserves thanks and credit for the care he has take of the fry.
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From the “Evening Post” Wellington for 15 January 1898
...Mr Ayson, curator to the Wellington Acclimatisation Society, is still actively engaged on the West Coast in making arrangements for the establishment of fish-hatcheries in the neighbourhood of Hokitika. The recent hot and dry weather has considerably interfered with the distribution of trout fry. A consignment which was to have been despatched from the Masterton hatcheries to Lake Taupo has had to be withheld until next season. In the stocking of the streams in this part of the island the society is receiving the co-operation of Mr Peters, who runs the line of coaches in the Karioi district and Messrs Perry and Trevena, who run a similar line to Ohingaiti, they have kindly offered to carry and distribute in suitable streams ant fry which the society may forward...
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From an advertisement in the “West Coast Times” of 12 December 1898
The society will gladly Receive SPECIAL DONATIONS to Assist in the importation of DEER. It is believed that if continuous efforts are made at the present time the nucleus of a good herd can be obtained and before long deer stalking will be added to the many attractions of Westland. Donations and Subscription will thankfully received by
Hon. Secy, and Treasurer
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1899 JUL From “The Press” Christchurch for 27 July 1899
A red stag, which was imported from England by the Otago Acclimatisation Society and given to the Wellington Society in exchange for two stags from the Wellington district, has disappeared from Somes Island, in Wellington Harbour, where it was being kept until the quarantine period had expired. It is supposed to have swum the two miles of water separating Somes Island from the Days Bay portion of mainland, as there was evidence of its having been in the vicinity of Days Bay.
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From the “Evening Post” Wellington for 30 April 1901
An important development in acclimatisation and game–raising work is projected by the Wellington Acclimatisation Society, which proposes to establish a game farm. The society has within thirty–three miles of Wellington a reserved excellently fitted for the purpose–500 acres of bush land, 70 acres of which have been felled and grassed; and there are already on the land several pens and a small cottage. The further building required would probably not cost the society more than £50, and the principal burden would be not the first cost, but the upkeep, which would include a yearly salary of £125 or £150 for a competent gamekeeper. To meet this maintenance cost the society proposes that other societies of the North Island, and other societies if they so desire, shall co–operate, each contributing to the annual cost and sharing pro rata in the birds reared. The contribution system has worked satisfactory so far as trout hatching is concerned, and other societies have been asked if they will join in the co–operative game farm, and if so what contribution they will make. A subcommittee has been set up to make enquiries and report. Pheasant rearing would probably be the first work undertaken, but other game would be raised as opportunity offered, and there is no limit to the usefulness of such an institution for acclimatisation and stocking purposes.
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From “The Press” Christchurch for 30 November 1901
Mr L F Ayson, Commissioner of Fisheries, reached Christchurch last evening from the Hakataramea hatchery, where the Government salmon–rearing establishment is now located. Mr Ayson has been putting down the last consignment of half–a–million “sock–eye” or blue–black salmon ova, received as a present from the Canadian Government. Part of this consignment has been sent to the temporary hatcheries at Lake Ohau, and the balance has been put down in boxes at Hakataramea. The young salmon reared at the latter place from last year’s consignments are, Mr Ayson reports, keeping remarkably healthy and well. The present consignment was brought over from Canada by Mr G H Lamdson, the expert who brought the consignment received last season, and he has expressed much surprise at the growth of the Quinnat salmon in New Zealand, in the ten months which have elapsed since they were hatched out. Altogether the outlook for the acclimatisation of salmon in New Zealand is more hopeful.
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From “The Press” Christchurch for 30 November 1901
...Mr L F Ayson, Commissioner of Fisheries, reached Christchurch last evening, and goes North by to-night's steamer...
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The Evening Post for 30 January 1906
[By Telegraph–Special to the post] Invercargill, This Day

The Government Inspector of Fisheries (Mr Ayson) says that the streams flowing into the Waiau from the eastern side are most suitable for young Atlantic salmon. His visit has confirmed him in the opinion that Te Anau and Manapouri are eminently suited for the salmon of the land–locked waters of North America. This fish is highly esteemed in Canada for its spoting qualities, and is said to have pound for pound more fight than any other fish. Mr Ayson was greatly impressed with the possibilities of developing sport in the great watershed of the Cold Lakes region.

The streams coming down from the snowy mountains are suitable in a remarkable degree for the Tahoe trout of the Sierra Nevadas–a great resort for fishermen.

The Tahoe trout, or salmon mychiss, is first cousin of the rainbow trout, but inhabits much colder water. All attempts to acclimatise the rainbow trout in Southland failed, and the reason generally assigned is that the temperature of Southern waters is too low.

There are Government hatcheries on the shores of Lake Tahoe, where large quantities of eggs are gathered during the spawning season, and there should be no difficulty whatever in obtaining a supply for New Zealand. These fish would enormously enhance the attractiveness of the Lakes District from the tourist point of view, and assist to make the large sums of money which the Government has invested in tourist resorts remunerative.
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From “The Press” Christchurch for 21 February 1906
...An Ashburton angler, fishing at the mouth of the Ashburton, landed six trout, one weighing 7.5 pound and another 12 pound...
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From “The Press” Christchurch for 23 February 1906
A warning to anglers to take care lest, by indiscriminately taking unnecessarily large bags, they should deplete the stocks of trout in the local rivers, was uttered by Mr R H Nimmo, resident of the Wellington Anglers‘ Club, in an interview with “The Dominion” yesterday. “With the increased number of licences being taken out, and the extra opportunities given to fishermen by the greater leisure time at their disposal to-day. Anglers must limit their bags, if they do not wish to clear out the fish in our smaller rivers. The time is now past when a fisherman could go out, as a few years ago, and bring home a bag full of fish.”

“Out of consideration for the sport, anglers will have to make up their minds to take no more fish than they actually need. If there are many people fishing, it is bound to affect the stocks in the streams. But to offset this to some extent, too much fishing will bring about the inevitable reaction whereby the balance of nature is preserved. The fish will simply become increasingly wary, and will stop taking the fly.”

Mr Nimmo stated that so far the fishing season had opened most inauspiciously. Rivers were all up, and conditions quite unfavourable for fishing. Catches reported so far had been very poor. The reason for this was, not that there were few trout in the streams, but that they were simply not taking the bait. At present, with the streams flooded, the fish were ground feeding, and it was not natural for the fly to be on the water. Although the paucity of catches was disappointing and led many fishermen to believe that the fish were not there to be caught, experienced anglers realised that this was by no means necessarily the case.”
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From “The Press” Christchurch for 23 February 1906
A meeting of the Council of the Acclimatisation Society was held last night. Present– Dr Moorhouse (Chairman), Dr Morton Anderson, Messrs Sloman, Hart, Nicholl, Townend, Biggins, Swanston, Shand, Drake, Price, Corson, Lavery, Billings and Whiteside. In the absence of Mr Bruce through indisposition, Mr Whiteside acted as secretary.

It was resolved to forward a donation of £2 2 shillings, through the Inspector of police, to Detective Mitchell, for the assistance he rendered in securing the conviction of offenders prosecuted by the society.

In reply to a letter from Mr W Rippinggale, it was decided to request him to secure a consignment of blue mountain ducks for the society.

Mr L Le Souf, secretary of the Acclimation Committee of Western Australia, wrote, stating that he had received the boxes of ova from the Society, in first–class order, the bad eggs being very few. The ova were placed in the hatchery four days after arrival, and even then were very healthy. The boxes he had placed in cool storage all the way, which he thought accounted for the success of the shipment. The average temperature was about 40 degrees, which seemed the most suitable. His committee were very pleased with the success of the shipment; as it was a long way to send ova, and he thanked the Society for their trouble.–The letter was received.

Mr Le Souf further wrote stating that he would be very glad to help the Society with stock proposed to be imported–various Himalayan animals–and would take every care of them while over there. Those animals were very hard to get, and expensive, as the American Zoo agents grabbed at everything that came into the market, especially the Markhor. Once established the animals would be of great value to the country, and he congratulated the Society on their effort, and wished them success.–The letter was received.

A letter was received stating that a great deal of poaching was going on in the Selwyn, a number of people dragging the river with nets and spearing whilst it was still running. It was decided to make enquiries into the matter.

Mr H M Phipson, of the Bombay Natural History society, wrote in reference to the Acclimatisation Society’s attempts to procure Indian animals. He had received information from a gentleman who had a nice young female Markhor for sale and another young male from another district. Mr Aitken would be able to purchase them and take care of them at the Karachi Zoo until he could obtain a passage for them together with others he hoped to secure. It would be well to write to the manager of the Melbourne Zoo, asking him to allow Mr Aitken to consign the animals to his care. They should not be any difficulty in sending the animals to Melbourne by the French line of steamers, and after a short rest in the Zoo there they could be sent on by the Union line.

Mr E H Aitken wrote from Karachi on the same subject, and mentioned that Mr Phipson had given 100 rupees to the society’s fund for purchasing the animals mentioned.

Dr Moorhouse said he had been notified that the Sydney and Melbourne Zoo authorities would look after any animal forwarded from India on behalf of the society. It was resolved to write to Mr Phipson thanking him for his donation, and to request the Union Shipping Company to carry any animals forwarded from India.

A petition was received from a number of Little River residents asking that Lake Forsyth should be made a sanctuary for native game. It was decided to support the petition and forward it to the Colonial Secretary.

The resignation of Mr T B Gibbs was accepted with regret.

It was decided to elect Mr H G Ell, M.H.R., a life member of the Society, in recognition of his efforts in Canterbury on behalf of acclimatisation work. Mr Ell was then appointed to fill the vacancy on the Council.

Mr W Izard wrote suggesting that it might be advisable to have fresh regulations framed in regard to trout fishing, with a view to prohibiting, or at all events restricting, worm fishing, as a generally practiced in the smaller streams. Worm fishing, he thought, should be prohibited altogether in small rivers, such as the Avon and Selwyn. Worm fishing at present could hardly be called sport, or at any rate it was the least sportsmanlike method sanctioned by law. Fly fishing was much the higher form of sport, some worm fishers said they could not catch fish by any other method, but they would not try. If fish was to be taken in that way there was no reason why dynamite and netting should be abolished. Worm fishing in the smaller rivers was pot hunting. There was one method which might be termed good sport namely, by fishing up stream with a very light tackle and using the worm somewhat in the same way as a fly; but the method adopted was very different.

The ordinary worm fisher in the smaller streams used very heavy tackle, with a heavy lead attached, and one or more hooks on a gut that would hold a cow, and generally sat all day at a hole with his line in the water, as if he were fishing for cod in the sea. Such sport could only be compared to shooting a sitting hare or bird–a most excellent method of filling the pot, but scarcely sport. That the smaller streams were becoming depleted of trout was certain, as was shown in the case of the Upper Selwyn and the Avon. It was the same with rivers in South Canterbury. He had heard of one worm fisher who in an hour at one hole dragged out eighteen fish averaging three pound each, and then boasted of the catch, but not the method. The remedy he suggested was for the society to request the Government to make further regulations prohibiting worm fishing except in the larger rivers, such as the Waimakariri and the Rakaia.

After a desultory discussion, it was decided to obtain the opinions of the other Canterbury Acclimatisation Societies, and to consider the matter in detail when they come to hand.
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From “The Press” Christchurch for 23 February 1906
Measures being taken to check the shag menace to trout in the district were reported to the council of the Wellington Acclimatisation Society last night by the chairman of the fish committee, Mr A J Seed, and by several correspondents.

Mr Seed stated that a meeting of the fish committee had considered the adoption of a scheme to prevent further depredation by shags to fresh water fish. A number of residents in various parts of the district had been appointed to shoot shags for investigation purposes. They were to be supplied with ammunition at the rate of three cartridges a bird, and with glass containers and formalin for the purpose of the preservation of specimens pending scientific examination.

Mr O Walton, of Eketahuna, reported that two local residents had visited a shaggery in the district and had brought back 42 shags’ heads. In addition they shot many they could not retrieve, and a large number in the nests. Some of the shags had whole trout in their insides, and all had traces of fish.

A letter was received from Mr B H Bull, Masterton, saying he had shot seven shags in the Waiohine Gorge. There were very few birds there this year. He found only five nests in half a mile of river. All these were blown up, and as many birds as possible destroyed. “I think you can now consider this shaggery cleaned out,” he wrote.

Mr B H Bull stated that what he believed to be the biggest shaggery in the district was on Ponui Lake, he had seen flocks of 69 to 70 birds flying to this area. As the lake was a sanctuary, he hoped it could be arranged for him to visit the shagger, with the idea of cleaning it out, and he suggested some responsible person be appointed to watch proceedings.

Commenting on this letter, Ranger P W Wilson, of Lower Hutt, stated that the shagger was on the property of Mr Norman Matthews, at Western Lake. He had rung Mr Matthews, who replied that the shagger was shot out every year. Five years ago shags were very numerous, but constant shooting had since reduced their numbers. There were now only six or eight birds nesting, and Mr Matthews would have shot out.

Attention was drawn to the possibility of shags attacking young grey ducks, in a letter received from Mr G B Hull, of Wellington.

“The boy working on my farm informed me that he had seen a shag swoop down and catch a young duck by the neck,” wrote Mr Hull. “He threw a piece of wood at the shag, which flew away. He afterward picked up the young duck, and found that its neck was broken. The shag has since been shot.”

“The boy told me that a man who worked at St. Patrick’s College had informed him that it was the practice of shags to break a young duck’s neck, and to then squeeze it until it burst, and eat its insides.”

“I think that at this season, when the ducks are setting, the council should obtain all the information it can on the subject,“ said Mr D J Gibbs.
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From “The Press“ Christchurch for 23 February 1906
By Telegraph–Press Association Auckland, October 9
Although an earlier report had stated that the opening of the trout fishing season for the Rotorua and Taupo districts would be delayed for a fortnight this year, a Gazette notice just issued declares that the season will commence on November 1, the date of the opening in past years.

Statements by experienced anglers, personal observations and inquiry he had made recently in conjunction with the officers of his department, showed that it would have been in the interests of the fisheries and sportsmen alike if the season had started a fortnight later this year, said the Minister of Internal Affairs, Hon. W Parry, when discussing the reasons which had given rise to the report that a later opening would be decided upon this year.

If it had been possible at such a late state to defer the opening of the season, there would have been little ground, as in the past, for fishermen to describe the fish caught on the opening day as being in poor condition. At the usual opening date the fish had hardly recovered from the drastic effects of spawning up the rivers. The decision to commence the season on the usual date was mainly due to the fact that only short notice of the altered date could now be given to anglers and others concerned, many of whom, particularly those from overseas, had already completed their arrangements to begin on November 1.

“Conservation measures will have to be considered seriously in order to improve the standard of the fisheries,” the Minister said. “Anglers are right when they describe many of the fish caught in November as being in poor condition. The fact that they have just finished spawning has been the reason for some anglers complaining that the fish are diseased.”

The Minister said that the regulations now to be issued, while adhering to the usual opening date, would provide for the season closing on May 14. The early spawning fish had to be given a chance to reproduce. That was imperative.”

“Next season will be further shortened by delaying the opening date,” Mr Parry said. “The fisheries cannot stand up to seven months of fishing. I am satisfied that all anglers who have given the matter any serious thought agree that a reduction in the length of the season and other measures of conservation are imperative.”

Mr Parry referred to the many tributes paid by overseas fishermen to the sport New Zealand fisheries provide. “We must keep up that standard.” he said, “and it is on the Department of Internal Affairs that the responsibility lies.”
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From “The Press” Christchurch for 30 June 1914
The possibility of stocking the Waikato river or some other stream in the Auckland district with Quinnat salmon has been suggested by the remarks made by Professor E E Prince regarding the splendid sporting qualities of the fish, and the success achieved by Mr Ayson in introducing it in the South Island. A special study has been made by Mr Ayson of the Quinnat salmon, and he was asked whether similar results could be obtained in the North Island. “The rivers of the South Island are much better suited to the Quinnat salmon than any of those of the North Island,” said Mr Ayson. “The snow–fed rivers correspond more nearly with those of the Pacific coast of North America, from which these fish originate. I doubt very much whether the head water of the Waikato river would be suitable. The Huka Falls would be a serious obstacle to any attempt to stock the river with salmon. Possibly when the fish has been established in the South Island we may make some experiments, with a view to determining whether any of the North Island rivers can be stocked with quinnat.”
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From the “Evening Post” Wellington for 1 July 1917
There was a strange happening on the Opihi River recently, when some poaching was done right under the nose of the ranger to the Acclimatisation Society (says the Timaru Herald). The strange aspect of the case was that though the poacher was suspected, the ranger would not search the person under suspicion, albeit he has a name for marked impartiality in this respect. The circumstances, however, were unusual, and even the ranger admits that he was well duped. There was a woman in the case; in fact, there were several, and under the guise of bathing in the river, at least one of them set to work to secure some trout before the season opened. She had on a regulation bathing costume, and proved an expert in getting fish out of the water with her hands. On approaching the bathers the ranger, from a sense of gallantry no doubt, felt duty bound to sheer as soon as he saw that they were women. He noticed that one of them looked extraordinarily stout, but hastily looked the other way, and thought no more about the matter, till later on he received indisputable evidence that she had been poaching, and that her “stoutness” was caused by the fine–conditioned trout which she had secreted under her bathing costume.
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From the “Evening Post” Wellington for 15 November 1917
Contrary to all expectations, there has been no falling off in the number of fishing licenses issued on behalf of the Wellington Acclimatisation Society. According to returns received from the various post offices, £600 worth of licenses have been issued so far, and it is calculated, that about 850 persons have taken out licenses. This is about equal to last year, which was the best year experienced by the society for some time. The season opened on 1st October, and it is reported that there are plenty of fish in all rivers and streams in the Wellington province. In the bigger rivers, such as the Hutt, Manawatu, and Hautapu, fishing has not been altogether satisfactory so far for the simple reason that there has been too much water in them. As a matter of fact, they have all been in flood two or three times since the season opened. There should be some splendid fishing when the waters finally recede.
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From the “Evening Post” Wellington for 20 June 1922
Satisfactory results of the acclimatisation of grey geese in the Waikato were mentioned at the meeting of the council of the Auckland Acclimatisation Society by Mr C A Whitney. He stated that he had discovered twelve of these birds on Lake Roto Ngaro, near Huntly. There was a small flock of birds at Waikaremoana, hatched from eggs placed under a swan, and five birds were being liberated at Rangiriri. If the birds were not interfered with, said Mr Whitney, there would be some fine grey geese shooting in five years’ time.
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From the “Evening Post” Wellington for 13 May 1926
A statement of receipts and payments on accounts of opossums for the 1925 season, presented by the Under-Secretary for Internal Affairs at the meeting of the Wellington Acclimatisation Society last night, showed that the total receipts for the season, apart from £27 from the previous season, were £9230 13s 6d, made up of royalty £7288 18s, trappers’ licenses (less commission) £1776, brokers’ licenses £59 17s, fines £50, and sale of confiscated skins £28 18s 6d. Payments were made up of £4159 13s to acclimatisation societies, £4073 15s 1d to the Forestry Department, &25 18s 9d to the Lands Department, £32 13s 10d to the Egmont National Park Board, and £5 4s 6d to the Rangitoto Domain Board, £916 2s 4d in brokers’ commissions, etc., £7 10s in trappers’ licenses refunded, and £9 19s was held for allocation next season. The largest takes of oposums were: Wellington district 50,239, Otago 24,366, Weatland 15,665, and Nelson 11,146. The total of opossums taken in the Dominion was 145,778. Seven hundred and twenty trappers’ licenses were issued.
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From the “Evening Post” Wellington for 14 May 1926
Quinnat salmon are evidently firmly established, not only in the South Island, but in the North. Authoritative statements made by members of the Wellington Acclimatisation Society on Wednesday showed that Quinnat salmon had been seen in two shoals in the Wellington Harbour, one large and the other small, while instances of quinnat being taken on hand lines at Seatoun, and off Petone and Pipitea Wharves with hand lines, up to 32 pound, were given, and further instances of quinnat being taken by launch fishermen were cited. The most impressive account was given be a Wairarapa member, who stated that men netting with fourteen–foot net at the Lake Ferry Track for flounders found so many quinnat in the net that four of them had difficulty in hauling it in. they weighed up to 10 pound, and one fish killed and kept was full of eggs.
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From the “Dominion” Wellington for 18 May 1926
“Dominion” Special Auckland, May 17
“I have fished in many places, indeed, my rodcase has been twice round the world, but I can honestly say that the fishing I had at Taupo this year is the best I have ever known.” This was said in an interview by Mr S McCulloch, a Melbourne angler, who returned to Auckland lately after six eventful weeks in pursuit of trout. As Mr McCulloch was one of a party of seven who landed 98 fish in one day, his opinion is evidently well founded. This is his third season at Taupo, and he considers that the fishing is becoming better and better.

Asked if he could suggest anything that might be done for the comfort and convenience of anglers, Mr McCulloch said it would be a good thing if the roads could be improved and some of the more difficult streams bridged, especially those between Tokaanu and Taupo. It seemed to him that it would be of great benefit to fishery if a hatchery could be established on or near the lake, so that young trout could be reared in the waters which were to be their future home. It should be possible to establish a “stud” and import fish from various localities in New Zealand and overseas. Fresh blood would be most advantageous to the present strain. So far as cost was concerned, he said that visiting anglers would not mind higher license fees, seeing that the fishing at its best was very much better than anything that could be obtained in Great Britain or over a large part of North America at many times the price. He recognised, of course, that the local angler, who had always been used to inexpensive sport, might justifiably take another point of view.
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From the “Evening Post” Wellington for 18 June 1927
Only a few weeks after his retirement, Mr L F Ayson, until recently Chief Inspector of Fisheries, who has been in failing health for some time, died last night.

The late Mr Ayson was one to whom both the anglers of the Dominion and the Government which he served for 38 years are greatly indebted for the excellent angling which has helped to advertise New Zealand, and for the establishment of Quinnat and Atlantic salmon. Mr Ayson’s interest in fish was inherited from his father, a keen angler, and it was in the efforts made to acclimatise trout in Otago, in which he assisted, that the late Mr Ayson first became actively interested in pisciculture. In 1885 he was appointed to the position of Supervisor of the Masterton Hatchery by the Wellington Acclimatisation Society, a position which he held for fifteen years, considerable assisting other societies, as they were formed, in the lay–out of the hatcheries and by his advice. When in 1899 he was appointed Chief Inspector of Government Fisheries, he turned his attention to marine fishes also, and almost immediately commenced the attempts to acclimatise salmon which under his direction proved so successful. His system was to concentrate on one river, in the assumption that when that was stocked the fish would spread naturally to others, and it is due to this system, initiated in 1899, that success has been secured. Mr Ayson, besides the acclimatisation of Atlantic salmon and Quinnat salmon, had devoted attention to the artificial extension of the rock–oyster beds of the North, and his work in the Bay of Islands in this direction proved most successful.

Although he had a vast amount of travelling, often during the night, so as to be able to utilise the day hours, yet Mr Ayson found time for study in both marine and fish– pisciculture, and though, as a pioneer in such studies, as related to New Zealand he was faced with tremendous obstacles in the absence of records on which to work, on his retirement he had accumulated a vast amount of information which it had been his intention to incorporate in the form of a book. He had travelled extensively outside New Zealand in the course of investigations regarding salmon, having visited America several times, England several times, and Europe. Keenly enthusiastic in all pertaining to his work, the late Mr Ayson did not spare himself, and as his work took him out in all weathers, and most of it was done in the coldest part of the winter, the physical strain was immense.

Mrs Ayson predeceased her husband fourteen years ago. There are six sons, Messrs W D Ayson (Wanganui), C L Ayson (Hakataramea), H F Ayson (Commissioner of the Cook Islands Rarotonga), G D Ayson (Wellington), L D Ayson (Masterton), and Mr F C Ayson (Wellington).

The funeral will take place on Monday afternoon at Taita Cemetery.
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From “The Press” Christchurch for 27 January 1939
The Rangitata and Waitata rivers should be in splendid order for salmon fishing during the weekend. The salmon run has not yet actually commenced, but two fair sized fish were caught at the mouth of the Rangatata yesterday.
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From the “Taranaki Herald” New Plymouth for 15 December 1939
AUCKLAND, Wednesday (P.A.)
Anglers took some 36 500 trout from Lake Taupo and its tributary, rivers and streams during the experimental season last winter. The results of the season have been reviewed provisionally by Mr D F Hobbs senior fisheries officer, whose report was considered at the annual conference between delegates from the Taupo angling clubs and representatives of the Internal Affairs Department.

The normal take of trout in an ordinary open season at Taupo averages about 200 000, the result of 87 000 angler–days. Mr Hobbs estimated that the winter yield of 36 000 trout resulted from 21 000 angler–days. Fishing was heaviest in June and October, and the bulk of the trout was taken in the rivers. The fish averaged about 22 inches in length and five pounds in weight. The proportion of poor conditioned fish rejected by anglers fell considerably.

“As an experiment,” said Mr Hobbs, “I regard the winter season as a complete success. However, time will be needed for further study of the accumulated data if the best use is to be made of it, and this should be done before policy implications are finally determined.” Mr Hobbs added that anglers had co–operated excellently in furnishing angler diaries. He made a strong plea for continued co–operation during the open season.

Delegates agreed that the winter season had brought to light much useful information and experience. One Tongariro organisation urges a permanent extension of the winter fishing, with no closed season for at least five years. Other clubs advocate a close season of three months during the spawning period from July to September inclusive, and extension of the open season by one month at either end–from October 1 to June 30. The representatives of the Department said they were not yet in a position to advocate either a further experimental season or an extension of the open season. Policy would be determined as a result of further research.
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