Nelson/Marlborough Reel Life JAN 2017

TAYLOR RIVER JUNIOR FISHERY IN GOOD SHAPE

The Taylor River fishery is in good shape after a 50 medium to large brown trout were released before Christmas.

Margie KaatStaff recently drift dived the river and were pleased to see good numbers in this stretch of water, which was designated as a junior fishery this season.

Over the course of the one kilometre dive, 19 large and 34 medium brown trout were counted, this figure well up on the number from a previous dive in 1997.

Staff were delighted to see a junior angler with a fishing rod near the Opawa Loop who was pretty pleased with the fishing, indicating he'd recently caught four large brown trout.

Above Right: Visiting U.S. angler Margie Kaat hooks into a solid Motueka trout.

A number of other juniors have also been enjoying success of late in this area, catching some superb rainbow trout that have been in the system since the last release for a Kids Fish Out event.

Below: Results from the recent drift dive has shown a notable rise in trout numbers, no doubt helped by the recent brown trout release.

Screen Shot 2017 01 20 at 11.01.09 AMLocal rivers in good condition, fishing well

Small periodic freshes have been the key feature of the season thus far, and after a couple of relatively stable weeks, rivers are in good nick with ideal flow and water temperatures.

The evenings have been relatively cool still, and when you hit your local river in the morning, it may take an hour or two to warm up and energise the fish into a steady feeding pattern.

The Wairau has been in excellent condition, with reports of good fishing coming into the office, however persistent downstream winds have been causing some discomfort to anglers.

The Motueka is fishing well too, with a good baseline flow for this time of year, and should equate to more productive fishing during the typically dry months of February and March.

Staff have had a busy few weeks drift diving on local rivers.

The wet spring and summer meant rivers remained unsuitable for accurate trout counts, however a recent settled period allowed a number of rivers to be completed.

The Riwaka River, normally dived in December, had been periodically delayed due to a slip in the South Branch clouding up the water.

This has now been completed, and it was observed that the silt has had a marked effect on the distribution of the fish, with some fish seeking clearer waters upstream.

It is hoped the slow release of sediment will reduce over time and see water clarity improve, particularly for an upcoming release of 1kg-plus brown trout, which will take place in March/April.

AERIAL SPRAYING OPERATION UPPER WAIRAU

Large areas of tree lupin (Lupinus arboreus) on gravel islands in the Upper Wairau River will be sprayed from a helicopter in the stretch of riverbed between Dip Flat and Bull Paddock Flat (near the Rainbow farm buildings).

The purpose of the spray programme is to prevent the tree lupin spreading upstream in the Wairau River catchment.

Left: Yellow lupin is common on the Wairau River and is an ecological problem.

This brush weed limits the habitat of river-nesting birds, as well as changing the native plant communities.

The spraying will be done by helicopter between mid-January and early February.

Warning notices will be placed at all the common access points to the riverbed between Dip Flat and the Rainbow farm buildings while the spraying is in progress.

Fine and still conditions are needed for this work which is usually done early in the morning.

Please avoid going to the river while the helicopter is spraying.

The area is safe to enter once the herbicide mix is fully dry on the leaves, which takes about half an hour.

The aerial spraying is complimented by extensive ground-based work by staff and volunteers who pull and cut outlying or sparse parts of the infestation.

The aerial spraying work is concentrated on large areas of dense growth.

PROFILE: PAUL WATTS – MARLBOROUGH FRESHWATER ADVOCATE

Hi, my name is Paul Watts.

Paul WattsI’m an Honorary Ranger, mad keen fly fisherman and president of the Marlborough Freshwater Anglers Club.

Throughout the summer I’m employed by Fish & Game, as a freshwater advocate implementing the Ministry for Primary Industries nationwide Check Clean and Dry programme in Marlborough.

This means I spend a lot of time out and about talking to all sorts of people who enjoy the region's fantastic freshwater resources.

Right: Paul Watts is the Marlborough Freshwater Advocate whose job is to promote the Check, Clean, Dry message.

The job involves advocating for the many rivers and lakes of our region, and attending outdoor-focussed events, where I provide information, education and resources to combat the spread of aquatic pests between our waterways.

In the past the programme has focussed on didymo but this year it has grown to include other invasive species such as lagorosiphon, hornwort, and the relatively recent and threatening ‘Lake Snow’.

Many of these pests are spread by just a single drop of water or plant fragment.

You can help to protect your favourite waterways: if you are moving between them always 'check, clean then dry' any equipment that comes into contact with the water...between every waterway, every time.

If you’d like to know more click here.