Reel Life September 2022
It’s time to go trout fishing!
The countdown is on! Just ten days to go until the start of the 2022/23 fishing season.
It’s time to buy your new fishing licence, dust off your fishing rod, top up your tackle box and start making plans because things are shaping up for yet another fantastic season.
Over the winter, Southland Fish & Game staff conducted trout spawning surveys in some of our important spawning streams.
It has been great to see plenty of spawning activity, particularly within the Waituna Lagoon and Lake Monowai tributaries.
As you read this email, fish like the one pictured will be dropping out of their spawning streams and back into our lakes and will be ready to be caught by anglers this season.
Above Right: Southland Fish and Game volunteer Blake Harper with spawning rainbow trout.
Results from our summer drift diving surveys have shown that trout numbers are looking very healthy in upper Oreti, upper Waiau and Monowai River.
It was also great to see that the upper Mataura trout numbers had bounced back nicely following some lower counts due to the February 2020 flooding.
For the complete Southland drift diving results, check out the Southland section of the Fish & Game magazine (available with your fishing licence).
With higher fuel costs this season, getting to your favourite fishing spot might cost a bit more than it did last season.
However, fortunately, in Southland, we have plenty of handy fishing spots that are close to the main centres.
Don’t forget your local fisheries when planning where to go, as you don’t have to go far to find quality trout fishing in Southland.
It may also pay to check the river levels before you head out, just to make sure the river/stream flows are suitable.
It can be disappointing to travel out to your favourite spot only to find the river is discoloured due to rain.
You can check out Southland river level information here: https://envdata.es.govt.nz/.
It is important to take note of the change in river level too, is the river rising or falling?
If the river is rising, flows may not be suitable by the time you arrive at the river.
As a general rule of thumb, flows up to 25cm above normal are suitable for spin and bait fishing.
Finally, if you need to scratch the ‘fishing itch’ before the new season starts, many of our lower rivers are still open for fishing and are already fishing very well.
Consider checking out the lower Oreti below the Iron Bridge, the lower Aparima below the Thornbury Bridge, the lower Waiau below the Tuatapere Bridge and the lower Mataura below the Mataura Island Bridge.
These areas are also very productive throughout the fishing season, so make sure to check them out.
The Southland Fish and Game Council and staff would like to take this opportunity to wish all Southland anglers an enjoyable season.
Please do not hesitate to get in touch if you need any advice this season.
Good luck and tight lines!
Cohen Stewart, Southland Fish & Game Officer.