Central South Island Reel Life December 2018

Prospects for the holidays

The last month and a half have been wet as spring came late.

This has been of great benefit to our waterways and over the holiday period we anticipate water levels will be optimal, region-wide.

Big lake trollers, low country stream spinners, high country tarn fly fishers;  whoever, you should be excited about the coming month.

If you haven’t brought your licence yet, grab your credit card and get one online here.

Alternatively, pop down to your local fishing store and pick one up with some new fishing gear. 

Above right: Fish & Game Officer Rhys Adams with six pounds of CSI's finest brown trout (Photo J Couper).

Salmon season starts

As expected, the first sea-run salmon catches of the season have now been achieved at the Rangitata River.

There have only been small numbers caught so far but fish up to 9 kg have been landed.    

The Rangitata River appears to be fishable clarity when the flow recorder at Klondyke measures around 100 cumecs or less.  

Fishing spots & access

If you're new to the Central South Island Fish & Game Region (CSI), or just looking to fish a bit further afield, you'll find our Fishing Locations and Access pages invaluable.

The information covers: Ashburton Catchment, Rangitata River, Waitaki River, popular river fisheries, popular lake fisheries and the hydro canals.

For some of these fisheries a downloadable pdf brochure is available including a map to aid access.

Click here to visit the CSI Fishing Locations and Access pages.

Learn more about catching & eating sockeye salmon?

After some local anglers figured out how to consistently catch sockeye salmon trolling in Lake Benmore, Fish & Game staff put together a brief but informative three-part series on sockeye salmon fishing and facts.

This was published in the Weekly Fishing Report.

If you missed them here are the links:  report 1, report 2, and report 3.   

Waitaki trout tagging

RLoct18csi3 a tagged rainbow with the yellow tag shown in the red circle2

'a tagged rainbow with the yellow tag shown in the red circle’

In total, we've now had nine tagged trout caught in the Waitaki and 14 in the Hakataramea River.

Since being trapped in the lower Haka over winter and early spring, the tagged fish have been caught as far downstream as Duntroon in the Waitaki and over 50km up the Hakataramea.

Some of the bright yellow tags have been covered in a thin film of algae making them hard to detect at a glance.

If you do fish the Haka or anywhere in the lower Waitaki River Catchment this season, please keep a keen eye out for these tagged trout.

The tags are visible as a strip of yellow plastic positioned near the dorsal fin.

Please contact our office with the tag number, capture location, and tell us if you kept or released it.

Phone 03 6158400 or email csi@fishandgame.org.nz  

Clean, Check & Dry

RLdecCSI2 Jim TritschlerL and Howard Lewis have worked out how to successfully target sockeye salmon in Lake Benmore photo credit Jayde Couper

Jim Tritschler (left) and Howard Lewis have worked out how to successfully target sockeye salmon in Lake Benmore (Photo Jayde Couper).

CSI is the hub of freshwater fishing activity in New Zealand.

This is especially true for the Mackenzie Basin with its popular large boating lakes like Benmore, the massive-trout producing hydro canal fishery and the sprinkling of world class fly fishing streams.

We'd like to remind both local and visiting anglers to look after our great fisheries by ensuring you don’t transfer unwanted aquatic pests to these waterways on boats or equipment like waders.

Some nasty critters like didymo, Lagarosiphon and lake snow already exist in some of our CSI waterways, so we don’t want to spread them any further either.

Also, other nasties exist outside of the region but not in CSI.   

The key message here is: please make sure when you change waterways you remember to clean your gear in between. 

Here is a link to MPI’s pocket guide to cleaning your gear, it covers different techniques for cleaning a range of recreational gear.

Happy fishing!

Rhys Adams, Fish & Game Officer

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