WEEKLY FISHING REPORT FOR CENTRAL SOUTH ISLAND & NORTH CANTERBURY
CENTRAL SOUTH ISLAND REPORT
A pot of fishing at the end of the rainbow spawning season
With the rainbow trout spawning season coming to an end in the CSI Region, our high-country waters and other sensitive fisheries are opening for fishing on Saturday, 5th November, aka high-country opening weekend.
Above Right: Richard Ramsay at Lake Alexandrina on Opening Day 2016-photo by Rhys Adams.
For example, the upper Ahuriri River and lagoons don’t open until the first Saturday in December (page 37) and several waterways in our neighbouring region, North Canterbury, have December opening dates too.
Another reason to check the “regs” is that sometimes changes are made to provide you with more opportunity, an example being that for Lake Emma in the Ashburton Lakes, the historical boat mooring restriction has been removed, so you can now drift fish or troll under paddle/rowing power.
Kids Salmon Fishing Day
Thanks to Mount Cook Alpine Salmon, the Kids Salmon Fishing Day is on this Saturday at Loch Cameron near Twizel.
The event of for kids between the ages of 3 and 11 only.
Spot prizes have been kindly donated by Meridian Energy and local fishing tackle shops Jakes Hardware and Southern Alps Outdoors – the kids won’t go home empty-handed.
Registration is on the day from 8:30 am; fishing starts at 9 am.
The Fish & Game crew will be there to assist with tackle tips and fish cleaning until 12:30 pm.
Outlook for the weekend
Sunshine and light to moderate winds will prevail this weekend.
Excellent fishing conditions are anticipated on high-country lakes, lochs, and tarns.
Some lake levels may be slightly high – keep a close eye out for brown trout cruising the shallow margins!
Lake Heron and Alexandrina would be my picks of spots this weekend.
For rivers and streams, the further East a river’s headwaters are the higher probability of finding clear water.
For example, the Ahuriri River, with its headwaters in the Southern Alps, received a deluge this week, and as I write this on Thursday morning, the river is 160 cumecs and rising at the SH8 flow recorder – this river normally fishes best below 20 cumecs.
A bit further East, the Tekapo River at Mary Burn confluence is on the rise too – mainly from its Fork Stream tributary with headwaters in the Gammack Range.
On Thursday morning, flows are 50 cumecs and rising; The Tekapo / Tākapo River fishes best below 15 cumecs.
Genesis has advised that Spilling to the Tekapo / Tākapo River could occur anytime from Friday, 4th November, due to Lake Tekapo Levels reaching maximum consented levels.
Riverbed activities like fishing and camping may be affected by sudden rises in flows, extreme caution is advised.
Tekapo / Tākapo River spill flows via the George Scott spill weir can be monitored at the Genesis website here.
Check out the Tekapo / Tākapo River access warning in the notice board below too.
Based on the current river levels and the potential for spilling to dramatically increase flow further, I highly recommend fishing elsewhere this weekend.
Way further East near the coast, the Pareora River at Huts river flows were unaffected by rain this week and have decreased to relatively low flows since the rain event 8 days ago.
If your high-country river fishing plans are put out by the recent rain, the hydro canals can be a productive alternative.
Currently, my picks would be the Tekapo Canal for rainbow trout, the upper part of the Pukaki Canal for brown trout and the Ōhau C Canal for salmon.
Controlled Period to finish soon at Ōhau River backcountry fishery
The last day of the controlled period is Friday, 4 November;
The Ōhau River backcountry fishery opens for all anglers holding a CSI Region backcountry licence endorsement as of high-country opening - Saturday, 5th November.
Click here to obtain your backcountry licence endorsement.
This time of year, fish numbers are low in the river; however, we anticipate that a few anglers will still want to fish there and would like to notify two important matters.
Firstly, the rough 4x4 track that follows the true right of the river is impassable (wash-out closure) right at the top of the river adjacent to the Ōhau Weir.
The track remains useable for practically its entire length if you wish to enter and exit via the lower entry point off SH8 opposite the High-Country salmon Farm.
Secondly, there is a black-fronted tern nesting colony on the river at “tern Island”. We urge anglers to avoid this area.
If you get dive-bombed by terns on any part of the river, move on immediately.
Tekapo / Tākapo River Spill Advisory
Genesis Energy has advised spilling may occur to the Tekapo/ Tākapo River from Friday 4th November.
Spilling can cause river levels do rise suddenly, and extreme caution is advised for all riverbed users.
Tekapo / Tākapo River Access Warning
Before accessing the Tekapo / Tākapo River track for the high-country fishing season, be sure to read the ECan article covering sites of track damage and access advice.
Lake Heron - Harrisons Bight vehicle access permit
Visit the Department of Conservation website to obtain your Harrisons Bight 4x4 vehicle access permit – click here.
Rangitata River access track maintenance – early November
Environment Canterbury has advised they will be spraying weeds to maintain the 4x4 river access tracks on the river’s South bank between the South Huts (mouth) and Ferry Road.
This is great news, as ECan’s maintenance of these tracks makes the Rangitata much more accessible for anglers.
Angler access information for the Rangitata River can be found here.
Rhys Adams, Central South Island Fish & Game Officer
NORTH CANTERBURY REPORT
It’s looking perfect for a bit of high-country lake fishing on Saturday.
All the smaller lowland fisheries are looking good for fishing as well.
Unfortunately, all our back country rivers and the big braided rivers are a definite no go due to all the rainfall this week.
However, once those big rivers clear after this week’s fresh, there’s a good chance some early season salmon might start to show up.
Lake Coleridge competition
It’s only two more sleeps till the high-country fisheries open on November 5.
The annual Lake Coleridge Fishing Competition is one of the most popular events for North Canterbury anglers.
The landowners have generously allowed camping for anglers on Friday night in the paddock by the Ryton Bay turn-off.
Fish & Game staff will arrive and open the paddock early afternoon on Friday.
The rules for camping there are: no fires or fireworks, and no dogs are allowed to stay there.
With the big fire on Wednesday night at Pegasus showing everyone how dry it is, it’s a great reminder why no fires and fireworks are allowed up there.
It’s a very long way for firefighters to get to so let the only fireworks we see being those of screaming reels with big fish on!!
We’ll have a couple of portable toilets there for campers to use.
After the prize giving on Saturday, the paddock will be shut at 4 pm.
On Saturday morning, North Canterbury Fish & Game will be operating a weigh-in tent at the turn-off to Ryton Bay from 9 am to 1 pm with a prize giving at 1.30 pm.
You don’t need to catch a fish to enter the spot prize draw, just present your licence at the tent to go in the draw.
The competition is generously sponsored by the Ashburton, North Canterbury, and Christchurch Hunting & Fishing stores.
There is over$7500 in prizes up for grabs this year, with the spot prize draws alone having $2000 in prizes available, including a $500 rod & reel set & sling bag set.
See you all there on Saturday!
New Water Pest in Canterbury!
As summer approaches, it is a good time to keep an eye out for egeria when fishing.
This invasive water weed is currently only present at Kerrs Reach in the Avon River within Canterbury.
Egeria forms dense stands that shade out native aquatic plants destroying animal and plant habitats.
When it rots, the plants degrade the water quality for other species to survive.
It grows from any stem fragment making it easy to spread on any gear and equipment that it comes into contact with.
If it remains wet, it can survive a long time and easily re-establish elsewhere.
To stop the spread of egeria, it’s crucial to check and remove any plant material from your equipment. Leave debris at the site or, if you find any later treat and dispose of it in the rubbish.
To prevent the spread of other organisms like didymo and lake snow remember to also clean and/or dry.
If moving to another waterway within 48 hours, soak or spray down gear with either a 10% detergent solution or 2% bleach solution.
If you can't clean your gear, restrict use to a single waterway or wait until equipment is dry to the touch (48 hours) before entering another waterway.
Remember, just because you can’t see it, doesn’t mean it’s not there!
For more information on aquatic pests in Canterbury, visit www.ecan.govt.nz/plantpests
If you think you may have spotted egeria, please report this through the Find-A-Pest app or reportpests.nz
North Canterbury Fish & Game Notice Board
High Country Opening Day is November 5, and the Lake Coleridge Fishing Competition, generously sponsored by Hunting & Fishing, will be held this year.
North Canterbury Fish and Game Council Annual General Meeting November 17, 6.30 pm at 595 Johns Road.
Richie Cosgrove, North Canterbury Fish & Game Officer.
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