Fishing competitions in double hook-up for kids and science

Two fishing competitions are weighing in together this year to support trout research and the Clutha community.

The Lower Clutha Trout Fishing Competition, run by Otago Fish & Game, is linking up with the children's Bluelight Fishing Competition, backed by Balclutha police and the local community.

Both competitions will be held on Sunday, March 12, and will share the same weigh-in.


Right: Balclutha angler Mark Kingipotiki with his winning 2kg brown trout at the Lower Clutha Trout Fishing Competition in November 2021. PHOTO: BRUCE QUIREY, OTAGO FISH & GAME


  • Where: The Clutha River, from below Roxburgh Dam to the sea, and the lower Pomahaka River:
  • When: Sunday, March 12, from 8.30am to 2.30pm.
  • Weigh-in: Balclutha Association Football Club, Glasgow Street, Balclutha, 2.30pm-3.30pm.
  • Prizegiving: 4pm.
  • How to enter: Online at the Otago Fish & Game Facebook page,, or pick up an entry form from Balclutha Police Station  or Stirling Sports Balclutha.


Up to $3000 worth of fishing prizes for adults are up for grabs in the Lower Clutha Trout Fishing Competition. Plenty of children’s prizes are also on offer in the Bluelight competition.

“These competitions are coming together for two good causes,” Otago Fish & Game officer Bruce Quirey said.

“Fish & Game has been getting behind the Bluelight event for several years to encourage children into fishing.

”But many anglers may not realise these events are also helping scientific research.”

Fish & Game will collect trout heads at the weigh-in to study where trout spawn and spend their most of their lives.

“This work aims to ensure the next generation will be able to enjoy freshwater sports fishing in the Clutha catchment for years to come,” Mr Quirey said.

Detective Kate Bartlett, of Balclutha Police, said Bluelight organisers were privileged to have the generosity of local businesses who supported and enabled the event to take place.

“We are fortunate that we live on the banks of the Clutha River and its tributaries, and have the opportunity to host this event,” Detective Bartlett said.

“We will again partner with Otago Fish & Game, who will be there with their loan rods and one-day fishing licence for the junior participants, along with some tutoring and guidance for those that require it.”

Detective Bartlett said the Bluelight event would even more family focused this year with the exciting addition of the adult category to ensure all the family could actively participate.

“We look forward to seeing as many of you there as we can, as once again the prizes are amazing, thanks to our sponsors.”

Fish need to be gutted and gilled but the heads left on.

Adult entrants in the Lower Clutha Trout Fishing Competition will require a fishing licence.

The competition is connected to the Brown Trout Origin Project funded by Contact Energy as part of mitigation for the Clutha hydro scheme.