Anglers swarm to Twizel after 2000 salmon escape commercial farm

Anglers from across the South Island have made a beeline to Twizel after more than 2,000 salmon escaped from a commercial farm.

The fish poured into a canal near the Ohau C hydro station and even a cold, foggy morning couldn't deter anglers from packing the banks on Saturday morning.

"Yeah supposedly 2,000 escaped, so might as well come down and see if we can get a feed," said Christchurch angler Shaun Breen.

Anglers flocked to Mackenzie Country from Canterbury to Southland.

"Oh would have been about 12 in the morning I'd say," said Sam Radovonich from Christchurch. "It's all worth it though".

"We usually don't catch anything here. So this time we're likely to catch something," said another keen angler.

It's believed the salmon - due for harvest later this year - escaped from Mt Cook Alpine Salmon. But the company isn't saying how they got out.

Fish & Game rangers were out checking licenses and ensuring the hundreds of anglers kept to the size and bag limits.

"So they raise salmon for sale, for the dinner plate. And once in a while they get out, and our anglers get to have a crack at them," said Fish & Game Ranger Jayde Couper.

Anyone who breaks the rules can face fines and having their licenses revoked. Fish and Game says its about giving everyone a fair go.

"We have issues when people are this tight together. Lots of people catching each other's hooks," said Couper.

Some caught their first freshwater fish.

"It's pretty good. Bit small but it'll be alright," said Dean Archibald as he held up his catch.

Almost everyone left happy, with a good serving for the dinner plate.

"Pretty stoked to be honest, like it's beautiful fish. What can I say?" said Stephen Raika.

Officers say people will never have an easier catch, provided they're fishing by the rules