Taupō angler’s horror at damage to trout from ingested rubbish

Who would have thought chucking a piece of clothing in the lake would result in a trout’s tongue being nearly cut in half?

The net result of pollution was posted on social media this week by Taupō Fishing Club president Shirley Fraser, who is keen to promote the message of keeping our waterways clean.

Shirley caught the trout in Lake Taupō and could see the trout was in poor condition.

But she was horrified to find it was due to a piece of thread running through the trout’s mouth and gills, nearly cutting the trout’s tongue in half and slicing through its body.

“The trout would have been suffering and struggling to eat.”

At first Shirley thought the piece of thread was fishing nylon and says it is the first time she has seen a fish damaged by pollution.

Shirley googled the brand tag attached to the thread and concluded it was originally from clothing or an outdoor cushion.

Shirley says Taupō Fishing Club environmental co-ordinator Janet Oldfield has been actively encouraging members and anglers to remove rubbish from the side of fishing banks, along with the predator trapping work club members carry out at Mapara Stream.

Over the years, Tidy Taupō’s Carol Lamb has collected a container’s worth of micro and small litter from the shore of Lake Taupō, including plastic threaded bird’s nests. She says the photos taken by Shirley are important.

“They make the damage of rubbish real.”

Department of Conservation fisheries team community ranger James Barnett said trout health is a serious issue, with anglers travelling from all around New Zealand and around the world to sample the quality of fishing in the Taupō District.

“We were saddened to see the photographs of the unfortunate trout.

“This case underlines the importance of taking rubbish home or disposing of it safely in rubbish bins.”

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