Wellington Reel Life August 2018

Season shaping up nicely

There'll be plenty of cracker fish like this around come Opening Day (Photo Hamish Carnachan)

The mild winter and lack of significant floods has set the season up to be a cracker.

The warmer temps will have seen increased insect activity and food availability for fish at a time when the freshwater environment is quite dormant.

The trout will have been able to put on condition much faster after the taxing spawning period.

Anglers can expect to encounter fish much heavier – and feistier – than they would normally be at the start of the season.

Top picks for the start of the season would be the smaller tributary waters as trout often stay for some time after the spawning period.

Tackling large browns and rainbows in tight water is a challenge but also very rewarding.

Obviously there’ll be plenty of anglers heading to the headwater fisheries that have been closed during the off-season, but don’t discount the lower reaches where ‘sea-run’ or estuarine trout will be dialled in on the whitebait runs and rich food offered in these sections of river.

We’ll bring you more, updated, info next issue.  

Backcountry licences

W 3 Anglers and guides are reminded they must have a Backcountry Licence Endorsement to fish the upper Rangitikei

Anglers and guides are reminded they must have a Backcountry Licence Endorsement to fish the upper Rangitikei.

If you plan to fish the upper Rangitikei River and tributaries in the backcountry fishery area above the Ohinewaione Stream, you need to be aware of important changes that come into force from the start of this season (October 1, 2018). 

Wellington Fish & Game has secured public liability insurance for all anglers – to the value of $2,000,000 per angler – to ensure ongoing and unimpeded angler access to the nationally and internationally important Rangitikei River backcountry fishery. 

Wellington Fish & Game will underwrite the cost of the insurance but will recoup it through a $25 fee on the Backcountry Licence Endorsement required to fish the Rangitikei River backcountry.

Anglers and guides are reminded they also need the Backcountry Licence Endorsement to fish the Whakaurekou River.

The insurance is needed to meet land administrators’ requirements to cross land to access the river.

From October 1, the Backcountry Licence Endorsement, and public liability insurance by default, is mandatory for all anglers and guides accessing the Rangitikei and Whakaurekou backcountry fisheries.

Anglers can expect a strong ranger presence, even in the remote headwater reaches of these rivers.

Failure to have the Backcountry Licence Endorsement is an offence under the Conservation Act and subject to a maximum fine of $5000, conviction, and confiscation of all equipment.

Wellington Fish & Game will also seek trespass orders for guides and/or helicopter operators who take clients and passengers into the backcountry fishery area without checking they have the appropriate Backcountry Licence Endorsement.

These moves have been made to ensure anglers can continue to access this world-renowned fishery.

You can find out more here

Family fishing venues

W 2 Wellington Fish Game is working to develop family fishing opportunities in the lower North Island

Wellington staff are working to develop family fishing opportunities in the lower North Island

Submissions on the Otaraua Park Draft Development plan closed on July 9.

Over 400 submissions were received and a summary document will be made available to the public once the Kapiti Council has collated the results.

Thank you to all those anglers who took the time to submit and support the creation of a (family) fishing pond at the park.

The Wellington Fish & Game Council has been in contact with the Kapiti Council regarding the submissions and review process and will continue to advocate on behalf of anglers.

The Council has also visited the site of the proposed Otaki Kids Fish Out Pond and met with representatives from Greater Wellington Regional Council and GBC Winstone.

A preliminary plan has been agreed upon for the site and it is hoped that work will begin in spring.

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