Central South Island Reel Life May 2017

Options for winter

Thursday the first of June heralds the opening of several handy winter fishing season options in the CSI Region.

Our year round fisheries are all confined to the high-country so the winter season provides some handy local lowland options again.

Above Right: An anesthetised young of year brown trout from the Te Ngawai River is weighed, May 2017.

The winter season applies to these rivers downstream of their State Highway 1 bridges: Ashburton, Rangitata, Opihi and Waitaki.

The regulations are more restrictive to the regular summer season, so please be aware that for the winter season fishing methods are restricted to fly and spin only, and a maximum daily bag limit of 2 sports fish.

Lake Hood near Ashburton opens up for a winter season and has the same regulation restriction as the rivers mentioned.

Lake Alexandrina near Tekapo Township is the one high country water that open for a winter season.

There is a zero bag limit for brown trout for the winter season at Lake Alexandrina.

Just a stones-throw away Lake Tekapo and the Tekapo Canal are open for fishing all year (1 October to 30 September) so Tekapo becomes an even better winter fishing destination come the 1st of June.  

Please do read through your regulation guide to familiarise yourself with the winter and year round fishing seasons.

Click here to view the online version of the guide.

Opihi Catchment trout fisheries monitoring

Environment Canterbury (ECan) monitor the health of waterways throughout their zones by measuring water quality, in-stream habitat and invertebrate populations annually in late spring at selected sites throughout the region.

Fish & Game is planning to utilise this information by collecting our own information on juvenile trout growth at 6 of the same monitoring sites in the Opihi River Catchment.

The first season of trout growth monitoring is now completed. This involved two days of electric fishing: the first in late spring, and the second in May.

Young of year (0+) brown trout were measured for length and weight which means that growth and condition can be evaluated for the spring to winter period.

ECan has come on board with the project and are monitoring water and habitat at the 6 sites in May.

The growth information will be compared to a predictive trout growth model.

If the trout are not as big and healthy as the model predicts then the ECan monitoring information can be scrutinised for clues as to what habitat and water quality factors may be restricting trout growth.

The plan is to collect several years of trout growth information so that annual variations in trout growth can be assessed.

The monitor sites are located on the rivers: Opihi, Temuka, Te Ngawai, Kakahu, Hae Hae Te Moana and Waihi.

Lagarosiphon found in Lake Aviemore

In recent months Land Information New Zealand (LINZ) has identified areas of the invasive pest weed Lagarosiphon in Lake Aviemore.

The weed has been found between Loch Laird and Parsons Point but not elsewhere.

LINZ will be undertaking a programme to control and monitor the weed in Lake Aviemore which will include spraying from a boat, diver ‘plucking’, and placing hessian mats over isolated patches of the weed.

Anglers are reminded to do their bit and check all equipment like boats trailers, propellers and fishing gear before and after using all waterways and remove plant fragments to stop the spread of plants to other waterways.

Lagarosiphon looks a bit like oxygen weed. Click here to view a fact sheet on Lagarosiphon.

Back in the River     

Every year in May Fish & Game staff salvage trout and salmon from the Mayfield Hinds Irrigation Ltd scheme when they shut down for annual maintenance.

This year we took a camera along to film the action. We have put together a YouTube video to show you what’s involved. Click here to watch the video.   

Fish & Game Council Meetings

The Central South Island Fish & Game Council meet on a bi-monthly basis at the Fish & Game premises, 32 Richard Pearce Drive in Temuka.

The next meeting will be held on the Thursday the 15 of June at 7pm.

The council is made up of elected local licence holders who volunteer their time and energy.

During the meetings the councillors undertake responsibilities like: adopting annual work plans, developing specific policies related to management roles and setting sports fishing and game bird hunting regulations.

The council meetings are open to licence holders and the public. If you wish to address the council please ring the Fish & Game office in advance of the meeting to notify your intentions to speak and your topic: 036158400

Rhys Adams, Central South Island Fish & Game Officer.