Home' Central Canterbury News : April 24th 2013 Contents 3
CENTRAL SOUTH ISLAND FARMER
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Effect of low oxygen
on whitebait studied
UNDER THREAT?: A University of Canterbury study is investigating the impact
of nutrients in lowland streams on whitebait.
WHITEBAITING IN Canterbury
could be under threat as a result
of increased nutrients in lowland
streams, a University of
Canterbury researcher says.
Nutrient run-off into streams,
often associated with intensive
farming practices, acts as a
growth stimulant for aquatic
algae and can lead to decreased
oxygen levels, Dr Chris Glover
Dr Glover is supervising biology
researcher Mauricio Urbina in a
study investigating whether a
decrease in oxygen could be
having a direct impact on inanga,
the most important fish species in
the whitebait catch.
Young inanga swim upstream
and those that are able to avoid
the whitebaiter's net inhabit
small rural streams. Here they
may encounter decreased oxygen
in the water because of the
nutrient run-off,'' Mr Urbina said.
The study has found inanga are
not very tolerant to low oxygen
levels and this may act as a
barrier to their survival.
The low oxygen results in the
fish leaping out of the water on to
the stream bank in order to avoid
this potential stress'' he said.
Leaving the water may expose
inanga to increased risks of
predation and/or they could
potentially dry out eventually
leading to death. This would be of
particular importance in streams
where stream-side vegetation has
been removed, another
characteristic of waterways in
areas of intense agriculture.''
Dr Glover said he suspected the
lab conditions for the study would
be met in any lowland stream
where the dairying input is high.
Cow creations coming soon
By MAT KERMEEN
Tourist attraction: Neil Mugford beside half of his ''Mad Cow'' attraction, which started life as a diesel tank.
NEIL MUGFORD has not gone
mad, but he would love to see
Mad Cows'' on display along a
The Leeston man is leading a
group holding a competition for
the best Mad Cow'' to be placed
along the inland road that runs
from just north of the Rakaia
River through to Springston.
The idea is to encourage the
communities along the stretch of
the road to construct sculptures of
cows as a quirky attraction to
encourage tourists and visitors to
see another side to Selwyn''.
Tourists from around the world
travel the famous Tin Horse High-
way near Perth and Mr Mugford
is hoping a scenic Selwyn drive
will attract them to Central Can-
terbury as well.
The idea came to him when he
and his wife, Sue, were holidaying
in Western Australia.
The couple where told to check
out the Tin Horse Highway, a 20
kilometre stretch of road known
worldwide for its quirky collection
of tin horses.
Mr Mugford immediately took a
liking to the idea and thought
something similar could be intro-
duced in Selwyn, highlighting the
high level of dairy farming
activity in the area.
He went straight to work.
Within a year of his return he had
designed a rest area adjacent to
his property with a mad cow made
out of an old diesel tank.
He also redesigned an old
campervan which has more than
half a dozen mad cow sculptures
Mr Mugford met the Leeston
township committee, where the
idea was well received.
Selwyn councillor Pat McEvedy
was at the meeting and supported
Councillor McEvedy said he
admired Mr Mugford's commit-
ment and energy.
He said it would be a positive
for the district if the road could be
turned into a quirky tourist
This side of Selwyn has a lot to
offer with the heritage park get-
ting under way, and there are sev-
eral other attractions that could
be popular with visitors.''
Mr Mugford, the owner-
operator of Leeston Hire, said
anyone constructing a mad cow
could use as much or little detail
as they liked.
The only criteria was that it
needed to be seen from the road.
He hoped the road would
become a gallery of bright, quirky,
Mr Mugford would like to get
local schools involved with
decorating or possibly construc-
ting a cow.
It's a long way down the track,
but I would love to see community
groups getting involved and poss-
ibly having a few displayed
around the township.
If we can provide an entertain-
ing drive and a fun alternative
route, hopefully one day it could
be known as a tourist-type route
that could benefit our communi-
ties,'' Mr Mugford said.
He knows of a couple of mad
cows under construction.
He was hopeful they will
encourage others to join the
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