Weekly Fishing Report – Central South Island- 04-04-19
Habitat enhancement is part our job here at Central South Island Fish & Game and in March we have had a couple of collaborative projects achieve some results.
Meridian Energy, under Fish & Game advisement, have constructed two enhanced trout spawning beds as part of their commitment to maintaining the trout fishery in the upper Ohau River.
Two 50-metre spawning beds were constructed in a small braid of the upper Ohau River by digging up the boulder-strewn riverbed and replacing it with gravel suitable for spawning.
Above Right: The excavated braid gets filled with spawning gravel Credit Rhys Adams.
The river has a healthy spawning run of trout from Lake Ruataniwha and the Ohau B Canal but offers very few areas of suitable spawning gravel.
The result is that the trout tend to dig up each other’s redds (nests) as they are limited to using the same gravel areas in succession during the spawning season.
This enhancement has increased the spawning potential of the river notably.
The braid was selected for enhancement during annual spawning surveys where it was noted that only four redds were dug by trout.
The enhanced spawning bed now offers enough gravel to allow over 100 redds to be dug.
We will monitor the success of the enhancement over the spawning season and If all goes to plan, we will continue to collaborate with Meridian Energy so they can enhance another spawning bed on the upper Ohau River.
The other project that achieved some results was the joint Lake Poaka nuisance vegetation control project between DOC and Fish & Game with support from ECan Immediate steps funding.
The goal of the project is to rid Lake Poaka and its wetland habitat of trees like alder that are smothering the wetland and restricting angler access.
In March 350 metres of previously sprayed alder and willow trees were felled to open-up the wetland and the shoreline on the northern side of the lake.
The works will allow the vegetation to decompose quicker and in time will enable the wetland to return to natural state fitting of the Mackenzie Basin.
This work builds on the alder clearance work that was undertaken in the winter of 2018 which achieved the clearance of 900 metres of shoreline around the campsite area.
There are many years ahead before this project is complete and like nearly all vegetation control projects annual follow up work be needed to ensure the problematic vegetation doesn’t re-establish.
As I write this report the long-range weather forecasts are predicting a cold but dry weekend after a southerly front passes through the region.
Rain and snow will fall on the hills on Thursday and Friday, but it doesn’t appear to be enough to cause river flows to rise substantially.
In general water levels should be good for fishing this weekend.
I do however suggest you check out the forecast and flows yourself for the latest information.
I use https://www.yr.no/place/New_Zealand/ for predicting rainfall, the beauty of this website is you can search the forecast for local places, like Lake Pukaki.
For river flow levels visit the ECan website here.
Update for game bird hunters
Game bird hunting licences are on sale and pegging day is on the 7th of April. You must purchase your licence before marking up your stand, click here to buy your 2019 game bird hunting licence.
We understand from announcements made last week on gun reform, that duck hunting in New Zealand will remain almost entirely unchanged.
Most repeating and pump action shotguns will remain legal without magazine extensions, as they carry no more than five rounds in an attached tubular magazine.
Your side by side and over and under are also unaffected.
Our pre game season Fish & Game Magazine send out has been delayed, so anticipate that to hit your mailboxes later by mid-April.
Rhys Adams, Central South Island Fish & Game Officer
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