Otago Reel Life September 2017
New season's 'healthy' prospects
Climate experts NIWA predict that temperatures in Otago are very likely to be above average, and rainfall totals will most likely fall into the normal range this spring.
These conditions should bode well for the start of the fishing season.
Hopefully we will experience more stable weather than last season which was often wet and windy.
These conditions impacted on angling opportunities and the number of anglers interviewed by our ranging team was fewer than normal.
Winter floods hit some coastal rivers such as the Shag and Waikouaiti quite hard but the majority of our lakes and reservoirs and high country streams were not as affected.
Anglers fishing coastal estuaries had some really good catches and it is likely some trout were displaced by the flooding.
The Upper Clutha River experienced a particularly good run of rainbow trout with many large specimens landed.
We are fortunate to live in a region with a huge range of accessible fishing opportunities, and while heavy rain can impact rivers in one area it is usually easy enough to find clear fishable elsewhere.
The best way to plan fishing trips and keep up to date with real time river and lake levels on the ORC website.
Make the most of your season
October and November: Launch a small boat on coastal estuaries like the Tokomairiro, Clutha and Taieri. This is a particularly effective way to target sea-run and estuarine trout hunting whitebait. Bait fishing from the shoreline is a more relaxed approach and a great way to get the kids involved.
December and January: Water temperature and insect activity in the high country heats up presenting some of the best sight fishing to big back country river trout available anywhere. Also a great time for trolling and fly fishing for trout hunting damsel and dragon fly nymphs around our lake weed beds.
February: Head to the high country reservoirs for dry fly cicada action. The peak of the cicada activity on the Loganburn, Poolburn, Onslow and Manorburn is often early to mid February. Hit the right day with a warm offshore breeze and you could be in for the fishing of a life-time.
March and April: As stream water temperatures begin to cool aquatic insect activity is often concentrated towards mid-afternoon. Under these conditions we can experience periods of exciting dry fly action as mayflies hatch in high country and southern streams such as the Greenstone, Upper Pomahaka and the Mataura.
Otago Fishing News 2017
Each year Otago Fish & Game sends out a newsletter to 14,000 licence holders in the Otago region.
This was sent via email for the first time and it includes lots of tips, hints and advice for fishing in the region.
Fishing regs review
The Otago Fish and Game Council has decided to undertake an extensive review of the region's fishing regulations over the following months, with any changes coming into force for the start of the 2018/19 season.
The Council decided that the regulations needed to be fully reviewed to address the current demands on fisheries through growth and environmental factors.
The review process will also involve streamlining regulations to make them more presentable.
Staff are presently preparing a report incorporating biological information, trends in angler use, compliance issues and other factors.
The report will better inform the council on the current state of fisheries and where suitable regulations should be applied.
The angling community will then have the opportunity to comment on proposed changes at public meetings in late November and in a formal submission process thereafter.
Keep an eye on our Facebook page for meeting dates.
Cliff Halford, Otago Fish & Game Officer.
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