The Derwent River near Wayatinah town ship

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Salmon hatchery at Wayatinah on the Derwent

Next to the bridge over the Derwent River on Wayatinah Road, an Atlantic Salmon hatchery owned by Salmon Enterprises of Tasmania Pty Ltd trades as Saltas.

According to the Tasmanian Salmon Growers Association the business was established in 1985 ‘after a report to the Tasmanian Fisheries Development Authority concluded that a salmon farming industry could be successfully developed in Tasmania. As a result, in 1984 fertilised Atlantic salmon eggs were purchased from the Gaden Hatchery (Thredbo River, Jindabyne, New South Wales, Australia), which were from stock originally imported in the 1960s from Nova Scotia, Canada. A sea farm was established at Dover in the south of Tasmania and a hatchery was developed at Wayatinah in the central highlands.’

Innotech Controls claims Saltas is ‘Australia’s largest producer of Tasmanian Atlantic Salmon smolt, supplying over 3.5 million smolt each year to the Salmon farm industry.’  Their website provides details about water temperature management using the water of the Derwent River and Wayatinah Lagoon. ‘At Wayatinah, the water used by the SALTAS hatchery is gravity fed from the River Derwent. During the hot summer months, when river flow is greatly reduced, the water temperature can rise by as much as 10 °C in an 8 hour period. Water temperature in excess of 23 °C can be fatal to the fish stock. Located 1km from the hatchery is Wayatinah Lagoon, a man-made lake that forms part of the State’s Hydro Electric scheme. Research showed that at a depth of 6 metres, the water temperature was consistently between 9 and 17 °C. A project was undertaken to utilise water from the lagoon for temperature control at the hatchery and to provide additional water in times of low flow in the River Derwent. The water temperature is monitored at the hatchery where it is maintained at 16 °C +/- 1 by staging the water pumps at the lagoon.’

A thesis by Anna Do offers ‘SALTAS currently operates two hatcheries: Wayatinah hatchery on the Derwent River and the nearby Florentine hatchery‘. When I walked on the north/eastern side of the river upstream from the Wayatinah Power Station last year I could not identify the buildings near the confluence of the Florentine with the Derwent River. Now I understand that I was looking at the second hatchery.  In this thesis on page 8, an aerial photo of the Wayatinah hatchery shows the Derwent River with considerably more water flowing that exists today. Refer to my photos of a stony river bed earlier in this post.

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