Reel Life January 2024
Recent changes to Wilsons Dam management look promising for a healthier reservoir ecosystem and fishery.
Marsden Point Oil Refinery is no longer drawing water from the reservoir which has resulted in it remaining at full capacity for the last two years.
Previous to this, the harsh summers of 2019-2020 and 2020-2021 saw the reservoir drawn down to very low levels.
Above Right: An angler fishing a fly around the weed beds at Wilsons Dam.
This exposed the submerged littoral vegetation which subsequently died off in the prolonged periods of low water levels.
These submerged plants are the basis of the food chain in the reservoirs and their absence greatly reduces the insect life in and around the water.
This is detrimental to trout survival as their food sources are significantly reduced and there is no cool water to retreat to.
These low water levels were partnered with algal blooms which exacerbated the issue.
With the dam having been at full capacity for the last two years the littoral vegetation has made a recovery and is now well established in the shallows around the dam edges.
The insect life is thriving and the fish should be cruising and feeding in reach of anglers lines. Small streamer flies such as a Mrs Simpson or Woolly Bugger fished around the edges of these weed beds in the evenings is a good bet for targeting cruising fish.
A well-placed nymph such as hare and copper under a small indicator will also get results, as will the other methods such as spinning and bait.
Anglers are encouraged to report any fish caught to the Northland Fish and Game office, so that we can monitor the catch rate and condition of fish.
This will enable the Northland Fish and Game Council to set stocking rates to maximise angler satisfaction.
Remember, if you catch a fish in Northland this season report the location, length, weight and fin clips (if any) to Northland Fish and Game and go in the draw to win a free 2024-2025 Adult Whole Season Licence.
The winner will be drawn in September 2024.