Southland Reel Life October 2018

Labour Weekend fishing competitions - a great sucess!

With the great weather over Labour Weekend came some superb fishing.

During the Take a Kid Fishing (TAKF) event held at McGregor Pond, many young anglers caught their first fish.

Over 50 salmon were weighed in and there are over 200 remaining in the pond.  

Above right: Otolith extraction at the Fish & Game weigh-in table.

As for the Stabicraft fishing event, over 250 trout were weighed in at the Fish & Game weigh-in table.

Otolith under microscope2.png

A trout otolith under the microscope (Photo credit: Rasmus Gabrielsson)

These fish came from lakes Te Anau, Manapouri and the Waiau River.

Some very impressive and well-conditioned fish were weighed in over the course of the weekend.

Southland Fish & Game staff took this opportunity to collect trout otoliths (ear bones).  

They are located in the brain cavity of the trout.

Once collected, these otoliths are cut, sanded and mounted on a glass slide.

From here, we can look at the otolith growth rings under a microscope.

Just as trees lay down growth rings as they grow, so too do trout.

Using these rings, we can determine trout age and growth rates to help us better understand our fisheries.  

Josh Tabak

Josh Tabak

New Te Anau ranger & Biosecurity Officer

Josh Tabak has joined the Southland Fish & Game team as a ranger and Biosecurity Officer in the Te Anau Basin.

Josh will be out and about spreading the 'clean, check dry' message while checking a few fishing licences at the same time.

Josh is very friendly and knowledgeable.

He enjoys soft bait fishing for trout so if you see him while out fishing, make sure to pick his brains for some tips.   

Fishing tips for the weeks ahead

Things have really started to warm up and two trout food sources should start to become readily available.   

Firstly, the brown beetles start to show up in November and trout love them!

A great brown beetle imitation is the coch-y-bondhu dry fly of about size 14-16.

Secondly, there is the common smelt.

They have already shown up in our coastal rivers and trout are quick to cue into them.

When bait fishing, try fishing a dead smelt on the bottom rigged up with a size six hook.

If spinning, use a silver wedge, Toby or soft bait.   

Cohen Stewart, Southland Fish & Game Officer. 

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