'First class’ Rotorua streams all set to open
Anglers are gearing up for the December opening of some first class stream fishing around the shores of Lake Rotorua.
Lake Rotorua tributaries which have been closed over the spawning season re-open for summer angling from Tuesday 1 December, 2015.
They are the upper sections of the Ngongotaha Stream (above SH 5), the Waiteti (above Hamurana Road) and the Utuhina (between Devon Road and Pukehangi Road).
Right: Fly fishing the Ngongotaha Stream.
Fish & Game Officer Matt Osborne says anglers should do well given improvements in Lake Rotorua trout over the past couple of years.
“The trout look to be in really good condition from our surveys, as a result of the lake’s improving water quality and food supplies.”
Anglers are also assured of pretty easy access to the streams after Fish & Game’s work to maintain access tracks, he adds.
The streams were busier with anglers throughout the last season but there is still ample scope with “lots of areas that don’t get many fishers visiting.”
Mr Osborne says that brown trout are already showing up in the fish trap on the Ngongotaha Stream and “come December, there will be a heap of browns as the temperature of Lake Rotorua rises above the 19 degree mark.” The Ngongotaha is known for its big brown trout that start moving up the streams in search of cooler water.
The El Nino conditions are expected to produce “full on” fishing with the hot weather forecast. The streams are likely to be low and clear with the best fishing on offer in the early morning and evening.
Most anglers will be nymphing or using globugs, before moving later in summer to caddis and cicada-type dry flies and emerging-type nymphs.
“Mr Osborne says that while some areas are fly fishing only, “there is scope on some streams for those who are new to fishing or prefer spinning. Please check your regulation booklet for places where spinning is permitted.”
He says that Lake Rotorua has lots of streams feeding into it which provide gravelly beds and ideal habitat for natural spawning.
“Unlike the Tarawera, Okataina and Rotoiti lakes which have only limited spawning habitat available meaning trout numbers need to be boosted with hatchery fish, sufficient natural spawning occurs within Rotorua’s tributaries.”
Fish & Game officers will be out ranging at the opening of the Rotorua streams, and in the weeks that follow, speaking to lots of anglers.
The Mokau and Hopuruahine streams at Waikaremoana will also be opening from December 1.
Anglers are reminded of the need to ‘Check, Clean and Dry’ fishing equipment including footwear when moving between waterways to stop the spread of aquatic pests.
Mr Osborne says that anglers, whether novices or more experienced, are welcome to email or phone with any questions about the streams that are opening, or information on other regulations and fishing tips.
Holidaymakers are reminded that Fish & Game’s new licences including Short Break and Long Break are available now on line (www.fishandgame.org.nz /licences) and in accredited sports shops and other outlets.