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2010 Looming As The Year Of The Mouse! 12 Sept 2009
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A huge flowering of the native beech forest last summer, followed by a heavy seeding or beech mast year, has set the scene for the 2009-2010 season to be a “mouse year”. The heavy seed fall provides tons of food for mice with the population exploding as it comes out of the winter. Predictions from the NZ Department of Conservation indicated the seed fall could be as high as 16,000 seeds per square metre – this would be more than 10 cm thick if all of the seeds fell at one time.

The mouse population explodes exponentially and with literally thousands of mice scurrying over the mulch floor many fall into or choose to swim across streams. It does not take long for fish to key into the opportunity of these calorie-rich bite-size morsels. Trout pile on the condition, adding literally inches to their girth – and the fishing is fabulous!! The rotting beech seeds also boost the productivity of the high country waters, with freshwater invertebrates benefitting – and this adds still further feeding options for the lucky fish! Once the supply of beech seeds are exhausted, the mouse population quickly plummets.

A beech mast or mouse year seems to occur every 7 or 8 years and is talked about for a long time after the action has subsided. Weather conditions also play a big part as too much rain raise mouse mortality levels. At this stage though, with a warm early winter and lots of beech seed a great summer of the mouse seems likely on the waters of the central north island. So give us a call – and come visit Poronui to check out the action!

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