Weekly Fishing Report – Central South Island Region – 27/04/18
Monday the 30th of April is the last day of the regular fishing season.That means this weekend is the last weekend too.
The weather looks like it’s trying to spoil any late season efforts, but I reckon there will still be some fishing to be had by those willing to brave a bit of marginal weather.
It looks wet region-wide on Saturday, but Sunday looks ok past the foothills inland and further to the south as the weather is coming from the north-east. But don’t take my word for it check the weather forecast yourself and pick your window.
Above Right: The surveyors view of a Deep Creek braid.
If you’re lucky enough to have Monday off work, you should have a better day then.
It was very nice conditions yesterday up the Rangitata River valley for flying around in a helicopter counting live spawning salmon in two significant spawning tributaries: Deep Stream (Mesopotamia) and Deep Creek (Mt Potts).
Yesterday’s count at Deep Stream dropped to 50 live fish from 162 live fish a fortnight ago, this along with the sighting of many spawned-out carcasses indicates that peak spawning has occurred in this stream.
By reviewing our historical records, we would not expect a jump in numbers over the next couple of counts we will undertake up there.
All-in-all the Deep Stream spawning run for 2018 is a big improvement on last year but still small in a historical sense.
Deep Creek’s live salmon numbers decreased from 123 live fish to 100.
Although the run appears to have peaked, we know from historical observations that there has been ‘double peaks’ in Deep Creek.
At the very bottom of the stream there was a ‘pod’ of fresher looking fish and I didn’t see as many spawned-out carcasses as Deep Stream so it’s possible we might get another double peak run.
In any case it’s fair to say that for Deep Creek the total run will be relatively small for 2018.
From now to mid-June our sea-run salmon spawning surveys will consist of: finishing up the Rangitata counts, walking lengths of the Opihi, Orari and Ashburton rivers and its tributaries counting salmon redds (spawning nests) and flying the Waitaki River for the peak redd count.
This is all weather and river dependant of course. A big flood can make redds undetectable.
We also monitor angler harvest of sea-run salmon by way of an internet or telephone survey so anticipate some form of contact from us over the next month.
With the end of the main season for many there is a switch to “canal mode”, and why not, the canals offers some of the best fishing in the country over the winter.
Fish & Game Officer Mark Webb was ranging the Tekapo and Pukaki Canal on ANZAC Day.
He checked about 90 anglers between 9am and 2pm.
He said the fishing was tough, but a few anglers caught some nice fish of varying size and species including Mark Burton of Melbourne who caught a 21.5lb rainbow flyfishing with an egg pattern at Tekapo ‘Fish Bowl’ and Gary Busch of Christchurch who caught a 6lb brown nearby.
Mark said the canal flows were low. If you like fishing strong canal flows a general rule of thumb is that the week days are more reliable as power demand is higher while industrial activities are active.
For the Tekapo Canal too, the power station will only be at half generation capacity until mid-June.
The canals attract a lot of anglers and if you start to look around the place you will start to find nylon and other items of litter around the canal banks.
Roger Spicer from the Halswell Men’s Shed is organising a clean-up on Saturday the 12th of May and has managed to attract some prizes from kind sponsors to encourage participation and spread the message of taking your litter home with you.
To register for the clean-up and be in to win spot prizes meet in the Twizel town centre near Jakes Hardware at 8:30am.
The are a few good options for winter fishing ahead so check out the regulation guide to see whats open year-round and what waterways have a specified “winter season”. and if you need any clarification please contact the CSI office and run your query past one of our Fish & Game Officers.
This is the last weekly report for the 2017-2018 season, so thanks for reading the weekly reports over the season.
The reports will once again hit your email inbox and the Fish & Game Website shortly before the 2018-2019 next October.
Until then you can keep up to date with all things Fish & Game NZ, local and nation-wide by visiting our mobile friendly website, signing up to our monthly ‘Reel Life’ newsletter, or following Fish & Game NZ on social media platforms like YouTube, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
See you up at the canals this winter.
Rhys Adams, Fish & Game Officer, Central South Island.
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