Lively discussion at fish habitat workshop
More than 40 farmers, drainage contractors and environmental scientists turned up to the recent Managing Drains for Farming and Fish field day near Featherston, which generated a lively discussion focused on balancing farm drain management and preservation of native fish habitat.
Acknowledging the importance of maintaining profitable farms, the field day looked at the variety of native fish in drainage systems in the Wairarapa Moana, the habitats in which they live, how current drain maintenance practices affect them and practical management techniques to keep drains flowing and benefiting fish.
Attendees were clearly engaged and the workshop provided a great forum in which to share ideas. However, establishing just how farming and habitat conservation can successfully co-exist will take further time and research.
The meeting ended with a commitment by GWRC and others involved in the Wairarapa Moana Fresh Start project to investigate and trial a range of drain management techniques over the next 12 months and report back.