Weekly Fishing Report for Central South Island and North Canterbury for November 9 2023
On Tuesday Fish & Game CEO Corina Jordan and Dame Lynda Topp launched the #ReWild campaign in Christchurch.
At a media event to highlight the campaign around 60 guests, including National MP Barbara Kuriger, came together to celebrate the outdoors and the benefits of going fishing and hunting.
In order to preserve the ability to go and enjoy the fishing and hunting we do we need to spread the word about what we do to the wider society.
At Fish & Game, our work is dedicated to protecting, conserving and rewilding of Aotearoa New Zealand’s natural wetlands and waterways.
The teams at both North Canterbury and Central South Island Fish & Game came together to support this event.
We all strive to make New Zealand a better place for both nature and people. Where wildlife can thrive, and communities can benefit from the resources that nature provides.
So click on the link and join us and help us protect, restore and rewild natural habitats.
CENTRAL SOUTH ISLAND REPORT
The high-country sports fishing season opened on Saturday the 4th of November.
It was a beautiful early morning on Saturday, perfect conditions to start the new season.
Later and through the weekend the rain and wind appeared making fishing tricky.
Photographer George Empson visited Lake Alexandrina to capture the occasion (see above) and reckoned up to 35 rowboat and kayak anglers were on the lake throughout Saturday morning.
You can check out more of George’s photography at photomack.co.nz.
Ranger Allan Gillespie was active at Lake Alexandrina and McGregor on opening day checking on 26 anglers that fished from the lakeshore for the morning.
They landed a total of ten trout, the biggest a 5-lbs/ 2.25kg rainbow trout.
Newbie trout angler Wayne Tiffen spent the weekend with his family at Lake Alexandrina and McGregor catching (and losing) a few trout.
Wayne caught his first trout – a 4.5 lbs brown trout caught on a bronze ticer lure while spin fishing from the shore of Lake McGregor.
Ranger Dean Rattray checked on 22 anglers at Lake Heron and estimated about 45 anglers fished the opening. He said a few well-conditioned ‘keeper size’ lake salmon were caught.
Angler Don Tilson fished Lake Clearwater getting two takes but not setting the hook. Don reckoned there were 20 anglers on the lake for the morning. He looks forward to warmer weather that will suit dry fly fishing at the Lake.
Ranger Hamish Stevens checked in on anglers at the lower Ahuriri and Hakataramea rivers. He noted there were catches of 1-2kg brown and rainbow trout on spin and fly. One angler was particularly successful, catching and releasing twelve trout from one pool in the Hakataramea.
Upper Ahuriri River and lagoons remain closed
The Ahuriri River and tributaries upstream of and including Longslip Creek remain closed until the first Saturday in December.
This includes the lagoons.
The regulations for the Ahuriri River are listed on page 37 of the 2023/2024 sports fishing regulations here.
Kids Salmon Fishing Day a Success
The Kids Salmon Fishing Day was held by Central South Island Fish & Game on Saturday the 4th of November at Loch Cameron, Twizel.
Eighty-one youngsters aged between 4 and 11 years, and their families attended and gave salmon fishing a go on an idyllic high-country waterway.
Fifty-five salmon and two brown trout were landed during the event.
A massive THANK YOU goes out to Mt Cook Alpine Salmon, the major supporter of the event.
Thanks also goes to Shaw’s Hardware, Southern Alps Outdoors, Meridian Energy and Kilwell Sports who generously donated spot prizes — all the kids went home with a prize that will be helpful for fishing such as a fishing rod, lure or tackle voucher.
We encourage you to take a child or Junior angler out fishing to Loch Cameron over the next few weeks while this opportunity lasts – there are still plenty of salmon about at the loch thanks to Mt Cook Alpine’s generosity.
Loch Cameron is a favourite swimming and picnicking spot so please keep it pristine - if you are lucky enough to catch a salmon, please take all fish waste with you to dispose of appropriately elsewhere. An option would be the skip bin located near the Ōhau A Power Station intake – this bin is supplied by Meridian for anglers to use.
A slide show of photos from the 2023 Kids Salmon Fishing Day can be viewed here.
Lake Tekapo Salmon
We have received two more reports of recent catches of salmon from Lake Tekapo / Takapō.
Rueben Marshall recently took a trip to the lake to target salmon from the shore and caught three.
Rueben said his salmon were all about 2lbs and were excellent fighters that went on plenty of runs when hooked.
Allan Davidson trolled from his boat near the head of the lake / Godley River delta and caught three salmon around 1.8 / 4lbs.
Allan used a silver toby lure.
We encourage you to target salmon at Lake Tekapo and harvest your bag limit.
These salmon originate from our put-and-take salmon stocking programme supported by Mount Cook Alpine Salmon.
It’s best to target salmon around drop-offs and anywhere near inflowing streams.
Tekapo salmon are not particularly fussy and will bite any silver lure – it is all about finding where they are.
If you have luck catching them we would love to hear about it, email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 03 6158 400.
Outlook for the weekend
A wet start to the week provided for some helpful increases in river flows. These flows are now tapering off and in general river flows should be ideal this weekend for most rivers, creeks and streams.
It’s a mainly dry forecast for the weekend.
The biggest factor to consider is that there may be gusty winds in the high country at times.
The Rangitata / Rakitata River should have good clarity for salmon fishing this weekend – it won’t be long now until the first sea-run salmon of the season gets caught.
Be sure to carry your season bag limit card and a pen if you are targeting sea-run salmon or intend to keep one while targeting other species like trout or kahawai.
Sea-run salmon season bag limit cards can be obtained from our website here.
Rhys Adams, Central South Island Fish & Game Officer
NORTH CANTERBURY REPORT
Lake Coleridge fishing competition
Hundreds of anglers flocked to the Canterbury High Country over the weekend to celebrate the opening of the high-country fishing season.
Despite some windy and choppy conditions making it hard for anglers to catch fish, those that were out early had success.
Some spectacular fish were caught by anglers of all ages and entered in the annual Lake Coleridge Fishing Competition.
For the first time in several years, the heaviest fish were all caught by shore-based anglers and all over 3.2 kgs.
Christchurch’s Ken Carter caught a 3.57 kg brown trout from the beach of Lake Coleridge at Ryton Bay.
With two other brown trout entered by anglers also over 3 Kg, and all the salmon and rainbow trout weighed in were, on average, much heavier and longer than last year.
"Average fish condition factors for all three species were pretty good, with all species averaging a better than average score on the condition factor scale", says North Canterbury Fish & Game Officer Emily Craig, organiser of the competition.
"Of all the fish entered, 75% were caught trolling on Lake Coleridge, but it was shore-based anglers that caught the biggest fish; going to show that you don’t need a boat to catch big fish."
With 58 fish and 171 anglers entering the competition, it’s important to note that there were many more anglers in the high country for the opening day.
"Anglers didn’t need to catch a fish to go in the draw for over $8000 in prizes provided by the three Hunting & Fishing NZ stores in our area: Tower Junction, North Canterbury, and Ashburton".
"It was impressive to see over 200 people braving an afternoon downpour and staying for the prizegiving on Saturday, with an estimated 500 people visiting the area for opening day".
Boat anglers shouldn’t be surprised to see a Fish & Game boat come alongside them whilst fishing out on our lakes.
Another reminder to make sure you have your licence with you on the boat.
Unfortunately, we come across anglers illegally sharing a photo of a fishing licence fairly regularly, hence why it’s a legal requirement under the Freshwater Fishing Regulations to have the physical licence on you.
A lot of anglers slot their fishing licence in behind their phone in the case rather than their wallet as they’ll have their phone with them for taking pictures whilst out fishing.
Weekend Weather outlook
This weekend is looking awesome for fishing, Saturday should have some Northeasterlies turning Nor-westerly later, but Sunday is back nor-easterly.
There is almost no rain forecast for the weekend which means it’s a great opportunity for some fishing.
I’m hearing rumours ( must say it’s rumours) of some anglers already encountering salmon but no locations or verifiable info yet unfortunately.
Annual Public Meeting
7 December 2023
595 Johns Road
Environment Canterbury River works
Environment Canterbury (ECan) regularly undertakes projects that may affect your access and recreation on riverbeds, for example, earthworks for flood protection and biodiversity projects like animal control.
Before heading out, check out ECan’s ‘Current River Works’ webpage for listings of current and planned works that may impact on your fishing trip.
Richie Cosgrove, North Canterbury Fish & Game Officer.
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