Otago Reel Life April 2017

Rivers and Lakes in great shape

Parts the region experienced some heavy rain in mid April and air temperatures have cooled. Coastal areas got a flush but to the west of the Region it has been fairly dry.

The major lakes have been gradually dropping and the Clutha River is very low, particularly the lower river, but this does allow better access and water conditions have been ideal.

Sea run salmon were rather absent this year but there have been a few caught below the Roxburgh Dam along with some rather large browns, a late run is still possible.

On April 30 most of the brown trout waters closed to protect spawning fish but there is still plenty of opportunities on the major lake and river systems, and estuarine areas that are open year round.

Check your regulation guide.

The large lake river tributaries have been fishing well with good numbers of salmon caught at the Makarora and the Matukituki deltas.

Rainbows will turn up over the next few months as they prepare for their spawning migrations.

Both the Hunter and Makarora rivers fish well in May and on a clear calm day can be very rewarding.

Inflowing tributaries remain open until May 31. 

Lake Hawea continues to drop and the Neck is always worth a look. Anglers have good access to the numerous weed beds. Fish a wet fly of spin with small imitations.

Well presented soft baits will work a treat.

Salmon samples needed

Anglers are being asked to provide salmon head samples in a plastic bag complete with catch location; date caught and fish length/weight if possible - with contact details.

Place in the freezer and contact Fish & Game Otago to arrange collection.

Key areas of importance are the main lakes of Hawea, Wanaka, Wakatipu and tributary waters.

Be aware - duck hunters

Duck hunting season begins on Saturday May 6 and runs till late August.

Hunters will regularly be out on public waters.

Please respect their presence and give them the space they are entitled to.

Cardrona River bug watch

EFM Cardrona 2017 2Fish and Game staff have been working with Otago University students to research the Cardrona River fishery and aquatic invertebrate community.

Left: The electric fishing machine in action.

 A section of the river commonly dries throughout the summer and the work will provide valuable information for the minimum flow setting process.

Cliff Halford, Otago Fish & Game Officer 

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