From Waler Data Base @FaceBook. Image: Sydney Mail, 31st December, 1913
Images in story all from Sydney Mail, 16th December, 1925
As well as horses being used for stock work and wild ones being mustered and droved to various sales – sold both here and overseas – horses were widely used in the Snowies to transport sightseers, skiers, scientists, trout fishermen – and trout!
The first trout were released into the Snowy in 1889. Yes, being transported there on horses (in cans of water, ha!) Many more releases after that and hatcheries set up. The area became a world famous trout fishery. Some trout arrived in a coach in 1906, then went on pack horses to streams.
Importantly, trout got to the headwaters by being taken on pack-horses in milk-cans of water – in 1925 a trip to Kosciuszko with 1,000 fingerlings in 14 milk-cans, saw only 18 die on the way. The rest of the baby trout were successfully liberated. They’d been taken over 400 miles, mostly in cars then on horses through the snow country from Charlotte Pass, as it had to be done when cold. The 1906 attempt at this had failed.
Of interest, some of the first horses in the area were descended from the pack horses Count Strzelecki released at the Latrobe River in 1840, when he ran out of food for his men and they had to make their way by cutting through tough scrub to get out by another route. This brave Polish explorer named Kosciuszko after a famous artillery officer back in Poland.
We are always interested to hear about any horses captured in the Snowy Mountains region so we can check DNA/photos and history for possible recording on our website.