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Published: 2002-11-28 00:00:00

The Tongariro National Trout Centre has hooked a $5,000 boost from Environment Waikato.

The Centre near Turangi receives about 50,000 visitors per year. Plans are now underway to install educational displays to help promote interest in trout, encourage protection of the Taupo fishery and educate visitors about freshwater ecology and protection.

The Environment Waikato grant is from the Regional Council's Environmental Initiatives Fund set up to help support community-based environmental initiatives.

Waikato Regional Councillor Helen Lane said Environment Waikato was pleased to support an environmental project with a strong educational focus and direct links to a key issue like water quality. "Unless we help people understand why water quality is important to all parts of the ecosystem, we won't be able to gain long-term improvements," she said.

Environment Waikato has budgeted to allocate $240,000 during this current financial year to help fund community-based environmental initiatives. To date, $135,500 has been spent.