Field trip to Gus’s Pond

On the 4th of April 2016 the Lower Waitaki River Management Society hosted a Fieldtrip for the student of Papakaio School.

Although early morning rain threatened a wet start, by sunrise the day was clear with a light southerly, and the volunteers met at the Waitaki Bridge Hall for a 9am rendezvous. The first bus load of around 25 students arrived at 9:30 with three loads coming over the course of the day, finishing at 2:30pm.

At the site the students were split into three groups and rotated around three stations:

1) Tracking tunnels – using inked cards to track small mammals pests such as rats, hedgehogs and stoats.

2) Mudfish trapping – Looking at mudfish, talking about their habtiat and setting gee-minnow traps to catch them.

3) Planting – about 200 wetland plants were planted in the areas cleared by contractors back in February.

The Society is very grateful for the enthusiasm of the volunteers – it would not have been possible without your help! The turn out was such that there were enough volunteers for every activity station to have 3 adults; once the students were split up, this was a ratio of about 3 students per adult, so there was plenty of high quality interaction and learning.

Particular thanks Mat Goodman, Mike Keen and Phil Kranz who not only donated their time but have also provided some excellent photos and footage of the day – some of which have been included in this post, others that will be uploaded as soon as they are edited.

Thanks to landowners Gus and Sue Morton for their support and assistance in preparation for the day.

Thanks also to the World Wildlife Fund, whose sponsorship paid for the plants.

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