Reel Life January 2024
Above Right: Jack Ogden with an early January 2024 ringplain brown.
Unfortunately, this month's unprecedented heat has resulted in water temperatures in the lower reaches of some south Taranaki ringplain streams exceeding the thermal tolerance of fish and some dead trout, eels and bullies have been observed in the Waingongoro River downstream of SH45.
Similar conditions have also been occurring in the lower reaches of Kaupokonui and Kapuni streams and, to a lesser extent, in the Patea River downstream of the Patea dam.
The good news is that temperatures have not reached such high levels in other ringplain streams, and higher altitude means that conditions in the middle and upper reaches of streams have been relatively benign in comparison.
Altitude also seems to have been a protective factor in Waimarino rivers, such as the Mangawhero, where water temperatures have seldom reached 20 oC so far this summer.
Fisheries such as the Manganuioteao River will, therefore, remain in good heart.
On the Taranaki ringplain, the advice is to fish the middle and upper reaches of streams before the heat of the day.
The chirping of cicadas is now very noticeable and an imitation drifted through well-aerated runs and pocket water will be the way to go.
Allen Stancliff, Taranaki Fish & Game