Northland Fish & Game has three water supply reservoirs which are stocked annually with some 1200 rainbow fingerlings. Browns are also stocked periodically in two of the three reservoirs. Re-stocking is needed as there is a lack of suitable spawning streams. The reservoirs provide a variety of angling opportunities and can produce fish of good condition and eating quality.
The reservoir fishing can be challenging as water levels are manipulated and changed dependant on the demand for water locally. Water levels dictate how and where anglers can fish. But Northland's reservoirs produce good fighting fish and are open all year round with bait, fly, and spin fishing catering for all fishers.
Anglers should check the local regulations in their Fish & Game sports fishing guide.
This man-made dam serves as Whangarei’s public water supply and varies in depth. Annually stocked with 300 rainbow fingerlings, it's the nearest fishing to Whangarei' s urban area. Angling is restricted to shore-based activity with all methods proving successful.
Rainbows are targeted but browns are also present from early releases and have managed to sustain themselves. Fish size and quality varies according to environmental conditions and available food. The rainbows tend to average 1kg in size while some large browns have been recorded but the crafty fish are hard to catch. The lake periphery can be fished when water levels are low enough, but it's generally only fished from the car park side of the reservoir and the dam wall. No boating is allowed. Fishing small streamers such as Mrs Simpson or Hamills Killer around the lake fringes on a floating fly line is a productive method, as are soft baits and lures such as bibbed minnows. Fishing a bait such as a worm or prawn under a float will also catch fish.
Wilson’s Dam is located off State Highway One, just north of Ruakaka on Prescott Road. This dam was created as a water supply reservoir for the Ruakaka area in the early 2000's.
Wilson's Dam is a 'put and take' fishery. There is some natural reproduction which occurs in a short section of the stream that feeds the dam, and in some years there's not enough to maintain a fishery. So, Northland Fish & Game regularly stocks Wilson’s Dam to maintain a reasonable number of trout for anglers to catch. Rainbow trout are released into the fishery most years, with a shipment of browns every few years to keep up the population. The council agreed that a mixed fishery would give anglers greater opportunity to catch fish.
Anglers can access the lake through two access points off Prescott Road. Both these access points are well marked and require a moderate walk down to the reservoir. The dam wall can be accessed at the end of Sail Rock Road where there is a large parking lot at the base of the wall. Anglers are required to walk from there to the edge of the reservoir.
There is only shoreline fishing available to anglers as boats aren't allowed on the reservoir. Winter is the best time of year to fish Wilson’s Dam as water temperatures are cool and trout are readily feeding in the shallow water. Early spring and late autumn also provide good fishing opportunities during the early morning and late evening hours.
Anglers can use bait, spin or fly-fishing techniques to catch trout in this fishery. Anglers who use spinning gear tend to do well with French-style spinners or hard body lures, however traditional lures also get results. Those who prefer fly fishing generally use streamers that imitate mosquito fish, bullies or dragonfly larvae around the weed beds. During the warm days in winter, anglers do well using midge imitations.
The lake is situated a few kilometres north of Waipapa. It has a man-made irrigation dam, which was constructed to serve the Kerikeri horticultural belt.
The lake is stocked annually and has good numbers of rainbow trout, which are readily taken with wet flies and bait. Normal shore-based fishing techniques work well, and non-motorised boat fishing is permitted. The lake edge vegetation impedes angling in many places, but the fishing is good where there's access. The lake is set in a very picturesque valley catchment, a great place for the whole family.