Reel Life November 2021

Anglers have been all over the spring fishing this year, and things are looking just as good for November.

Flows have been high in the big rivers and are likely to continue to be so for the next while.

So anglers are instead targeting the spring-fed streams, which provide respite for fish and remain clear.

These streams, such as the Ellesmere/Te Waihora and Waimakariri tributaries (e.g. Silverstream, the Otukaikino and the Styx), have been fishing well with good numbers of bullies and smelt in the lower reaches for trout to dine on.

Not having any luck? Consider hitting these fisheries at night, when trout are more likely to be in feeding mode, anytime from sunset.

Make sure you keep this quiet and avoid bright lights so as not to spook the fish.

The high country lakes are well worth a visit.

At this time of the year, trout will be cruising around the edges looking for juvenile bullies and dragonfly larvae.

Remember Lake Coleridge itself is closed for October and will reopen on Saturday, Nov 6.

The Ryton Bay Road will be fixed and open in time for this opening, although you will need a 4WD.

Also, many families are making a tradition of the Fish & Game/ Ballinger Hunting & Fishing Lake Coleridge Fishing Competition.

It’s a great event, so come along, refer to details below.

Above Right: Fish & Game Staff using seine nets to monitor species on the Asburton/Hakatere hapua.

Lake Coleridge Fishing Competition – Saturday, Nov 6

Lake Coleridge mapFish & Game are pleased to announce that the Lake Coleridge Fishing Competition will go ahead if Canterbury remains under Level 2.

This fun event is particularly popular with families due to the range of kid-friendly fishing spots in the area and the massive range of prizes for kids and adults (including spot prizes).

All are kindly donated by Ballinger’s Hunting and Fishing.  

As we are in level two, there are some limits on the number of people in the registration area at one time.

Note that the Ryton Bay access road will be open in time for this event. Refer below for more details.  

Date: Saturday, Nov 6.

Time: Registrations open at 9 am and close at 2 pm.

Where: Registration is at the Fish & Game tent, located at the turnoff to Ryton Bay. See map below. A free sausage sizzle is situated in this area.

Camping: Camping will be available for the weekend on a paddock at the turnoff to Ryton Bay, click on the map above. No camping is permitted further down at Ryton Bay itself on Glenthorne Station. Camping is also available at the Trustpower campground at the Harper.

Rules: To enter, you must have a current fishing licence which will be checked when you register. Fish entered must be caught at any of the Coleridge lakes and rivers on Saturday the Nov 6. All fish must be whole and not gutted for weigh-in. You do not need to catch a fish to go in the draw for a spot prize.

COVID restrictions: Due to Level 2 Covid restrictions, there will be a minimum of 100 people allowed in the registration area at one time. We will provide more details about the form that the prizegiving will be held at closer to the time.

Cancellation: We will notify people via email and Facebook. Do you follow North Canterbury Fish & Game on Facebook? If not, visit North Canterbury Fish & Game on Facebook and click Like. 

Take A Kid Fishing Cancelled

The Kids Fishing Charitable Trust, in conjunction with Isaacs Conservation, have decided to cancel the next event scheduled for Nov 28 2021.

The main issue is the uncertainty of the timeline for changes to the Covid-19 alert levels and the need to commit to the supply of salmon. They plan to stage an event in 2022.

Otukaikino trout spawning survey results

This year’s Otukaikino spawning survey showed a pleasing increase in trout numbers on the Otukaikino (the South Branch of the Waimakariri).

Some fish born in this catchment will remain in the system, and others will migrate to the Waimakariri River.

This link will take you to a video on the waterway, including tips on fishing it. https://fb.watch/8Ih2rGqhRE/

 Otakaikino 2021

Otukaikino trout redd (nest) count by reach

Area

2002/2003 *

2012

2019 (Aug 6 - 14)

2020 (Jul 27 - Aug 6)

2021  (20-27th July)

Kaikanui Stream

6

6

6

5

2

Mainstem Reach 1 (lower)

8

16

2

6

1

Mainstem Reach 2

26

10

0

17

42

Mainstem Reach 3

21

14

32

51

59

Mainstem Reach 4 (upper)

12

4

2

1

1

Stillwater Creek

16

4

4

6

9

Shinglepit Creek

1

2

0

0

0

Trib next to Shinglepit Creek

1

0

0

0

0

Plantation Creek

43

17

6

6

8

North Boundary Stream

28

12

18

37

73

North Boundary Stream headwaters

2

2

0

0

0

Middle Stream

1

3

0

0

0

Total

165

90

70

129

195

           

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hāpua surveys ramp up on the Rakaia

Fish & Game assisted in an Environment Canterbury led survey of fish communities in the hāpua of the Hakatere, Rangitata, and Rakaia Rivers in November 2020.

The objective of these surveys was to compare the current state of fish communities relative to historic surveys from the 1980s.

The surveys completed in November 2020 suggest that the fish communities in the hapua of the Hakatere, Rangitata and Rakaia Rivers consist predominately of common bullies, inanga, eels, smelt, and yellow-eyed mullet.

In addition, the abundance of black flounder, brown trout, and Chinook salmon in the Rakaia River hāpua was significantly reduced compared to results from this area in the 1980s.

Work has now begun on an intensive six-month study of the Rakaia hāpua.

This consists of more regular surveys to figure out when the various species are migrating.

It is also hoped this will help assess the health of the Stokell’s smelt population due to concerns that this species has declined in abundance.

Fish & Game will again be involved in this ecological monitoring.  

Fish & Game Staff using seine nets to monitor species on the Asburton/ Hakatere hapua.

Tight Lines

Emily Moore, North Canterbury Fish & Game Officer