Central South Island weekly fishing report 31 March 2017
Well it’s the last day of the salmon season today in the Central South Island Region.
Once the dust has settled I’ll attempt to find out from locals how the season went at the usual haunts.
As a licenceholder expect a phone call from us in the coming months.
We will be undertaking our annual salmon harvest survey.
The information we get from this survey helps us to make informed decision for setting bag limits and season lengths.
The weekend’s weather should offer some OK periods in the low country and could be warm at times with a northerly wind heating as it descends from the Alps.
On that note it could be quite windy in the high-country and at river mouths, lucky your casting will be well practised as we approach the later part of the fishing season.
It looks like late on Sunday a southerly front will whip through the region so my pick in general would be to target Saturday and be prepared for a windy and high cloud conditions.
In general river conditions should be good this weekend.
The coastal catchments from the Pareora through to the Ashburton had a fair bit of rain earlier in the week and now the flows have receded.
Rivers in the Mackenzie Basin and south of Waimate did receive a small bump in flows too.
With a flush of rain water and shorter days with less intense sunshine the river water temperatures will be dropping.
Along with this the sun angle is getting lower which means glare becomes more of an issue when trying to spot fish.
For these reasons fly fishing in April can be easiest through the middle of the day when the water warms up a little and the fish become more active, and the sun is at its highest point minimising glare.
A good excuse for a sleep in anyway. On overcast days when glare is at its worst consider fishing tree lined areas so you can use the trees as a back-drop.
The Hakataramea could be worth a look this weekend, although the section around Wrights Crossing has suffered from summer low flows and holds very few fish.
Some of the deeper willow lined and gorgy section in the middle and upper reaches should offer some reasonable sport.
Fish & Game are very pleased to announce that one year to the day that the Environment Court hearing was adjourned, on 17 March 2017 Judge Jackson issued a decision to decline a consent application to take water from the Hakataramea River.
The consent application was originally lodged back in October 2013 by Infinity Investments, and since then, the consent has been appealed to the High Court, declined at a consent hearing and now declined by the Environment Court.
Fish & Game became involved with the consent application in 2015 and has invested considerable time and resources in the case, calling expert evidence at both the consent hearing and the Environment Court that related to the Hakataramea and Waitaki fisheries.
A large number of residents in the Hakataramea Valley also opposed the consent and called witnesses.
A notable point that came out of the decision is the finding that the Hakataramea is over-allocated and that is causing adverse effects on water quality and aquatic ecosystem.
This decision is a strong win for Fish & Game and provides a solid foundation for Fish & Game’s next step- a review of the Hakataramea River flow regime.
Finally in this report a notice for those interested in irrigation schemes on the Rangitata River.
Rangitata Water Limited is holding an open day on 22 April for the purpose of showing anglers and the general public how the irrigation scheme functions.
If you wish to attend, please meet at 2pm at the parking area on south side of Rangitata River at Arundel Bridge on upstream side (Geraldine-Arundel Road).
Rhys Adams, Central South Island Fish & Game Officer
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