Weekly Fishing Report – CSI- 30-09-2021
The weather is looking superb for the start of the season tomorrow, Friday, October 1!
There is no rain forecast for Friday or the weekend.
There will be some helpful periods of sunshine to aid with spotting your fish, so be sure to slip-slop and slap – not your casts – your sun protection of course.
This is especially the case for boaties at favourite opening spots like Lake Opuha.
Depending on where you intend to fish, the waterway conditions may be worth considering.
Above Right: The Opihi River was in great order for spin and bait fishing two days before Opening Day 2021 Credit R Adams.
On Wednesday afternoon, the Opihi River near State Highway 1 was holding a strong flow.
It was great water clarity for spin and worm fishing, but sight-fishing was only possible on the shallow margins, and wading and crossing would have been difficult with many favourite crossing points too swift to wade.
The ECan flow recorder at Pleasant Point (Saleyard Bridge) was reading about 20 cumecs at the time.
The Waitaki River is a great spot to fish in October and, on Opening Day, attracts a traditional crowd of jet-boat based anglers who launch at the Kurow, Duntroon and a few other ramps and launch sites.
The river fishes best at flows between 200 and 300 cumecs and when the flow has been stable for a day prior.
The flows of the Waitaki River are generated through the Waitaki Power Station and are topped up by its tributary streams.
Be sure to check out ECan's Waitaki River flow recorder (Kurow) here, before and during your trip, as flows can change dramatically throughout the day.
Also, check out our Waitaki River access guide, which has a helpful map that lists heaps of access options.
Importantly we have a Waitaki River access advisory listed in the Notice Board at the end of this report regarding two access sites on Old Slip Road.
For those that will bring in the new season at the canals, be sure to renew your licence and carry it with you.
On Sunday, I was at the upper Tekapo canal undertaking a creel survey that assesses anglers numbers, catch, and satisfaction during September.
This survey looks at how the newly implemented June to August closure may be affecting the fishing in May and September – the months adjoining the closure.
Our most recent angler use and catch report from the upper Tekapo Canal can be viewed here.
On the fishing front – there wasn't much caught, but there was plenty of satisfied anglers.
Why were they satisfied? We'll; there were massive fishing jumping all through the day – it was just one of those days where it was hard to get a bite.
The day before, during the strong wind warning, was more productive.
I was very disappointed to encounter two anglers fishing without a licence and three anglers fishing with invalid licences.
These anglers were disappointed, too, having had their rods seized as evidence of fishing without a licence and stomaching the possibility of a trip to court.
Please take note, with the new season opening on October 1, that means everyone needs a new season 2021/2022 licence as all past-season 2020/2021 licences expire on September 30.
That brings me to the upper Ōhau River as a backcountry licence endorsement is required to fish there this season.
This is a new requirement for the 2021/2022 season that opens on October 1.
Click here to learn more about the upper Ōhau River and to obtain your back country licence endorsement.
There will be a ranger on the river completing an opening day creel survey, and you will be asked to produce your 2021/2022 sports fishing licence and your "backcountry endorsed" licence receipt.
Please be aware DOC have a managed black-fronted tern nesting site on the largest gravel island of the upper Ōhau River.
The island is located about 3.6km upstream from Lake Ruataniwha or 2.4km downstream of the ford. The island is readily identifiable, being mechanically cleared of vegetation, and you will likely encounter some dive-bombing terns.
Their nests and eggs are camouflaged and practically invisible, so please keep off this island to avoid inadvertently trampling on their nests. Also, repeated disturbance can cause the birds to desert their eggs and/or chicks.
From what I could see on the Outdoor Access webcam, the Rangitata River is holding a bit of glacial colour as of 9 am Thursday.
It's probably ok spin fishing but not looking great for sight-fishing.
The flow at the time on the ECan Rangitata flow recorder at Klondyke was 88 cumecs.
If we're lucky, the flow may drop and clear up over the weekend, but that will all depend on the influence of snowmelt, as may be the case for the Orari and Opihi rivers.
New Regulations for 2021/2022
Do take the time to review the First Schedule (National) and Second Schedule (CSI Region) regulations before fishing the new season.
Several important changes have been made.
Find the online version of the regulation guide by clicking here
In last week's report, we covered some of the regulation changes; if you missed that, please click this link.
There were two additional regulation changes to mention, so here they are:
1. The daily bag limit for lakes Pukaki, Ohau, Benmore, Aviemore and Waitaki is 4 sports fish.
2. The minimum size for salmon in CSI Region lakes is 250mm.
Explanation: Regulations changed to provide increased opportunity to target and harvest the high populations of sockeye salmon that are often 250-300mm in length.
The season length is 1st Saturday in November to April 30.
Explanation: historical site-specific provision to exclude trout fishing during the sockeye salmon spawning closure has been removed, bringing it in line with all other sockeye spawning waters.
Waitaki River Access Advisory – Old Slip Road
Access Point 19. Anglers accessing the Waitaki River from the end of Old Slip Road are advised to adhere to warning signs posted and leave your dogs at home. An application of 1080 poison was made in August for wallaby control on the hillside area beside the river, and the poison remains in place. For more information contact Environment Canterbury, Timaru 03 687 7800.
Access Point 18. The landowner at the "powerlines" access point on Old Slip Road has advised that access is closed for lambing until October 10.
Please respect these provisions to ensure we can enjoy ongoing angler access to these areas that cross private land.
These access advisories apply to access points 18 & 19, as displayed in the Waitaki Access Guide.
The next bi-monthly meeting of the CSI Fish and Game Council is Thursday, September 30, 7 pm at 32 Richard Pearse Drive, Temuka.
Licence holders and members of the public are welcome to attend. Covid Level 2 restrictions apply, including wearing a mask.
CSI Council Elections
For those who are already registered on the CSI electoral roll, please take the opportunity to vote in the election for Councillors. Voting closes at 5 pm, October 8.
Rhys Adams, Central South Island Fish & Game Officer
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