Otago Reel Life January 2020

Calm Conditions Welcomed

Anglers over the holiday period were finally treated to some great fishing conditions, January provided a sequence of calm days and some great catches were reported.

Lake Wanaka has been fishing particularly well.

During the cooler period around Xmas the fishing was fantastic with some camper anglers at Glendhu Bay commenting it has been the best fishing they had experienced in years.

Right:  Andrew Young with sons Shamus and Dylan and friends enjoying a successful day on Lake Hawea.

Not only were fish being hauled aboard in good numbers, with many being released, fish condition has been superb. No doubt the aroma of freshly grilled fish regularly wafted around the camp.

Lake Hawea continues to fish well with a good mix of brown and rainbow trout, and landlocked salmon being caught.

With a prolonged spell of good weather cicadas should make an appearance in early February.

There are some fantastic cicada imitations available so make sure you have a few on hand. Watch for surface activity then throw your pattern in the mix.

Reports from Poolburn Reservoir have been positive and some of the smaller waters such as Conroys Dam near Alexandra have been fishing very well.

Further to the east of the region coastal and smaller inland waters have stabilised after their December drenching and are worth a visit.

Sea run browns will be present in the estuaries in early preparation for their upstream spawning migrations.

They can be targeted with large lures or soft baits and there is always the chance of catching a sea run salmon.

Fish and Game At Work

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Picturesque Lake Hawea and calm conditions which anglers have been waiting for.

Over the holiday period Fish and Game rangers had a good presence at the main holiday destinations.

Compliance with licencing and fishing regulations has generally been good, however a several anglers were issued offence notices for fishing without licences which was disappointing.

The large number of anglers not carrying licences while fishing is a concern.

Angler interviews on the Upper Fraser and Nevis river is ongoing and a recent drift dive of the Manuherikia River revealed good numbers of juvenile trout, but low numbers of adults by comparison with historical data.

Surveys of salmon anglers at the Roxburgh Dam and immediately downstream have just commenced and will continue through April.

We are particularly interested in salmon catches from the Clutha River and Lake Wanaka for DNA analysis.

Freeze the head asap and note on the sample - the date, where it was caught., and angler contact details. Length or weight information would be appreciated.

Contact           Cliff Halford              chalford@fishandgame.org.nz     0272018153

                        Paul van Klink           pvanklink@fishandgame.org.nz  0210569146

Upcoming Events

February 1 – Opening of the Greenstone Controlled Fishery. Information and the online booking system can be accessed here

February 8 – Lake Hawea Family Fishing Classic competition.

February 9 – Alexandra Districts Club TAKF event at Earnscleugh.

March – Lower Clutha fishing competition organised by Fish and Game and keenly sponsored by Contact Energy to gather fisheries information. The date will be advised on the Otago facebook page and in the next edition of Reel Life.

For complaints about pollution or damage to rivers contact the Otago Regional Council (ORC) 24-hour pollution hotline on 0800 800 033

Up to date river flow information can be found on the ORC site here

Land and public access information can be located on the NZ Walking Access Commission site here 

To manage freshwater pests - Clean Check Dry message and protocols visit here

Tight lines

Cliff Halford – Fish and Game Officer, Cromwell.