Salmon Ponds

The Salmon Ponds, 1878 (ALMFA, SLT)

The Salmon Ponds at Plenty is a combination of two unique national firsts. Here in 1864, the first trout and salmon fry in the southern hemisphere were hatched from imported ova. While the acclimatisation of trout proved spectacularly successful, the salmon, once released, disappeared. A public nineteenth-century 'pleasure garden' was also created, with 3276 plants sent from the Royal Society's Garden in Hobart, including 2600 hawthorn bushes used for hedging. With its hatchery, rills, ponds and running water, grassy swathes and unusual trees astride water channels, the Salmon Ponds was an instant success with visitors. William Piguenit completed six lithographs of the Ponds and surrounding country in 1867. Some of the original trees from China, Japan, and Mediterranean countries, now 140 years old, are still present in the Ponds' micro-landscape.

Further reading: Godden Mackay, 'The Salmon Ponds precinct study', Report for Inland Fisheries Commission, 1992; G Sheridan, 'The historical landscape of the Salmon Ponds at Plenty', unpublished manuscript, Inland Fisheries Service, 2001.

Gwenda Sheridan