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All settled! Thousands of young salmon re-homed to Canterbury hatchery

More than 30,000 salmon have been moved to a restored Canterbury hatchery that hasn't been used in more than three decades.

The Whisky Stream site at Lake Coleridge was damaged by earthquakes in the 1990s before volunteers moved in to rebuild it from scratch.

More than 30,000 salmon were moved to a restored Canterbury hatchery, which hasn't been used in 30 years. Source: 1 NEWS

Eager locals watched on as salmon were moved in to their new home.

At just five months old, 30,000 little salmon have been hand-caught and safely housed from a Rakaia hatcher.

"The fishery has been quite stressed of late there's been a lot of water taken out through drought or increased water abstraction so it's harder for the fish to survive," said Fish and Games spokesman Richard Cosgrove.

"The more we can do to enhance the survival rates of these fish the it means more chance anglers will have to catch fish," he said.

The Trust Power-owned site is now back in business after the original owner went broke 30 years ago, and earthquakes in the 90s caused further damage.

It's taken months of volunteer work, donations and $20,000 in funding from fish and game to restore.

The salmon will be released into the Rakaia River in July.