Central South Island Reel Life November 2017
December brings classic fishing conditions
Summer has struck and with the high country waters open, anglers have been making the most of ideal fishing conditions.
There has been plenty of water in the high country with the Ashburton lakes about as full as they get.
Low country waters are starting to reduce in flow and algal growth is starting to become evident, but fishing will remain excellent through December, perhaps a bit tough for spin angler but ideal for fly fishing.
Above right: John Rushton at the Iron Bridge, Tekapo River, Opening Day 2017 (Photo R Adams).
Sea-run trout fishing has been hit and miss over November, but December offers arguably the best sea-run trout fishing opportunities with more river to make use of as the whitebaiters finish their season.
Reports of the first salmon being caught in the Rangitata River on Show Weekend are marred by inconsistencies. But we would expect some verified catches there from now on. We don't expect salmon to turn up at the Waitaki or Opihi river mouths for a month or so.
Salmon symposium report
The ‘Turning the Tide’ salmon symposium was held in mid-November and there was a great turnout of scientists, Fish & Game staff and volunteers and concerned anglers.
Presentations covered the latest information on the state of the fishery and fisheries science as well as updates on habitat enhancement projects, hatchery operations and the state of resource management (RMA).
On the second day a brainstorming session was held so all involved could put forward ideas, no matter how big or small, that could help to improve the sea-run salmon fishery.
An action plan committee will be put together to look at these ideas further to narrow down a way forward.
Thumbs up for Upper Ahuriri
The Upper Ahuriri River, above and including its Longslip Creek tributary opens for fishing on the first Saturday in December.
This section of river arguably offers the best road accessed back country river fishing in the CSI region with scenery of the highest order and trout of all sizes.
Left: Some satisfactory water to fish on the upper Ahuriri River (Photo R Adams).
In a back country sense the river is no secret spot, very popular with anglers from home and abroad.
We surveyed anglers over the 2016-2017 season to find out if they were happy with their fishing experience, and if further monitoring or regulation was required to maintain the satisfaction of anglers who in general, expect a high quality experience.
Ranger interviews and an internet survey produced feedback from 66 anglers over the five month season.
Most of these anglers were non-resident licenceholders who fly fished. Although it was common for anglers to encounter each other while fishing, only 8% of encounters were considered negative.
In terms of their overall experience for their days fishing, 53% were ‘very satisfied’, 32% were satisfied, 11% were neutral and only 4% were dissatisfied.
In cases where an angler was dissatisifed or had a negative experience, it was often a case of anglers not adhering to the code of conduct rather than not enough space or fish for all to enjoy.
Remember - never push in on a pool, beat, bay or area occupied by another angler. If you are in any doubt we encourage you to politely ask the intentions of these anglers before you start to fish.
So in summary, the vast majority of anglers who fished the upper Ahuriri last season were satisfied with their experience, so we do not see the need for any intervention or regulation at present.
But please stick to your code of conduct found in the front of your regulation guide!
Kids fishing day
In November we held for the third year in a row our Fish & Game Kids Salmon Fishing Day at Loch Cameron.
Undoubtedly this was our most successful event and we will do it all again next November.
Right: The Byrne and Plew families with dinner sorted (Photo R Adams).
A big THANKS goes out to Mt Cook Alpine Salmon for sponsoring 400 salmon for the event, and also these event supporters for helping with organisation and spot prizes: Jakes Hardware, Southern Alps Outdoors, Meridian Energy, Ladybird Hill Café and the Cameron family.
You can watch a video of the day here.
The kids didn’t catch all the fish so it will be worth taking the youngsters to Loch Cameron when you are in the Twizel area next.
Tools of the trade
Click here to check out this sketch explainer video on YouTube made by Freshwater scientist Robin Holmes.
The video uses a unique visual experience to help all anglers understand ‘scientific tools’ used by Fish & Game and those responsible for keeping our water clean and fish well fed.
Watch, like and share if you want Robin to make more of these cool informative clips.
All welcome at annual meeting
Licenceholders and members of the public are welcome to attend our Annual Public Meeting on the evening of Thursday, December 7. The meeting will be held at the Fish & Game premises, 32 Richard Pearse Drive, Temuka, from 7.30pm.
The bi-monthly council meeting is being held prior to the APM from 4pm – 6pm, all welcome.
Not all licenceholders read our newsletters or catch the meeting advertisements in the local papers so please spread the word among your fishing and game bird hunting friends.
Rhys Adams, Fish & Game Officer
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