Whilst it's a bit warm outside, a brief history lesson relating to some of our world famous fish!
Blagdon fish in New Zealand????
Some interesting info courtesy of Bristol Water's, Steve Pope:
Did you know that many of the brown trout found in New Zealand waters are direct descendants of our famous Blagdon fish? Prior to 1900, experiments to populate the rivers of New Zealand's south island with Brown trout were met with minimal success.The length of time taken to complete the voyage from Great Britain to New Zealand before steam was at best unpredictable and trout ova once eyed had to arrive within 6 to 7 weeks to stand any chance of survival.
In 1906 Bristol Water sent a shipment of ova to the shores of New Zealand's South Island. Sent by steamship SS Maori eggs were kept in wooden crates nicknamed 'Howietown cases'. Cases were 8 trays deep and contained sphagnum moss collected from the Mendip's. The moss served two purposes, primarily it was used to keep the eggs cool and moist but it also acted as a buffer for any knocks or sudden movements encountered during transit. Whilst on the ship it was the Chief Engineers responsibility to look after the ova. He would place ice over the top of the trays everyday to keep the ova cool, removing any eggs that had gone bad daily.
When the consignment arrived in Dunedin and subsequently was delivered to Opaho Hatchery on the south island the eggs from Blagdon were found to be 85% good. Five days after arriving and having reduced the water temperature from 47F to 39F some 8000 young fish were hatched.
The Otago Acclimatisation Committee hailed the huge distance that these tiny trout eggs travelled and successful outcome as a great success.
The Chairman proposed that the Engineer of the S.S Maori be granted £5 for looking after the ova so well and ensuring that a good strain of trout would be present in the rivers of New Zealand's South Island for many generations to come.
Our fish really have travelled the world!