Reel Life - The Angler's Newsletter from Fish and Game New Zealand

Reel Life - May 2016

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Fish are on the move as the winter fishing season begins in earnest around the country...

Lake shoreline fishing is beginning to fire up in both islands on the Rotorua lakes as wintry weather stirs trout into their spawning runs.

Rotorua staff say that fly fishers at the spots where fish have been released earlier, on lakes Rotoiti, Tarawera and Okataina, are starting to bag some nice fish when the conditions are right. Take a 'poor weather for the best fishing' approach…

In Canterbury, even though we've been forced to close some waterways, there are still plenty of other options for catching a fish or three.

There are still plenty of winter fishing opportunities left with the Rakaia, Waimakariri, Ashley, Hurunui and Waiau rivers still open from State Highway One upstream to the boundary of the western zone.

And of course, in the Central South Island there is picturesque lake, and leisurely canal fishing available all season in the Mackenzie Basin and upper Waitaki catchment.

You'll find quite a range of rivers and lakes open on the West Coast, and in Otago and Southland.

P.S. – This month's cover pic shows Siobhan and Jordyn Hawker winter fishing at Lake Coleridge.

P.P.S - If you think you've got a freshwater fishing image worthy of featuring on our 'cover', email it to Don Rood for consideration.

Fishing News

Fish & Game seeks 'fair go.'
Fish & Game took issue with media reporting of the jailing of a second offender involved in the case centred on poaching of trout from a spawning stream at Lake Rotoiti. We lodged complaints with some media over their stilted version of the facts. The men have been portrayed as victims, "simply trying to feed their families” who invoked customary rights. The jail sentences were fair given that it was one of the worst poaching cases in at least a decade and the pair have extensive criminal backgrounds. Also, there are no such rights – a legal precedent was set some time ago (Taranaki Fish and Game Council vs McRitchie) .

We have endeavoured to point out to media that poaching steals from Rotorua locals who depend on "trout tourism,” and many law abiding anglers depend on healthy trout populations to put food on their families' tables. Also, local iwi were outraged that Maori from outside their rohe came and took trout without permission. Read more here.

Why should taxpayers get the bill for pollution?
We have also questioned the Government's announcement in the Budget of a $100 million dollar fund to clean up the country's increasing number of degraded rivers and lakes. We say it shows taxpayers are continuing to pay for polluters, who should be bearing the cost of this cleanup. The fund is to clean up New Zealand rivers, lakes and aquifers over the next decade. Fish & Game chief executive Bryce Johnson says the funding falls well short of what is needed. Read more here.

Report homes in on Ecan's waterways failure
A Fish & Game report put Environment Canterbury's failures to properly police environmental damage under the spotlight. The report titled An Analysis of Environment Canterbury's Enforcement of Waterway Protection Rules provides evidence that supports the points we have made, and includes recommendations for action. The report demonstrated that after investigating 382 complaints of stock in waterways, Ecan took enforcement action in only 15 cases, demonstrating a reluctance to set a high standard. The North Canterbury Fish and Game Council. North Canterbury Fish and Game Council has recommended immediate steps that Ecan should take to meet its obligations to ratepayers. More details here.

New Fish & Game Videos…
Check out the work of our Canterbury team rescuing fish from irrigation raceways near Culverden. View here.

This Month's Regional News Click on the region to read.

Auckland / Waikato
Hawke's Bay

Nelson / Marlborough
North Canterbury

West Coast
Central South Island

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Streamside with...


Martin Langlands on fishing with streamers... Find out more


NZFFA President David Haynes summarises recent freshwater news and issues ... Find out more

Creasy's Column - By Hugh Creasy

Perhaps I'm just a discombobulated old fart with too much time on my hands, but I'm beginning to mourn the passing of an era when streams ran clear and rivers ran to the sea, when you could drink the water of mountain springs without fear of infection, when you could take shellfish from the beaches (just enough for a meal) and be sure you could return and there would be plenty more for everybody.

I have almost forgotten what a fresh pipi tastes like, let alone a toheroa. I am growing accustomed to casting a nymph into the suds floating down the Manawatu River or into the brown scum on the Arnold. There was a time when these lines of current yielded clear bubbles – an indication of a food line for trout - soon we'll need indicators the size of tennis balls to float above the garbage. Rivers smell. It's not the smell of a healthy rot from water flowing through cleansing forest, it's the smell of ordure – human and animal as growing populations outstrip our ability to cope with their waste. Continue reading here

Fish & Game NZ, 2 Jarden Mile, PO Box 13-141, Wellington. Tel: (04) 499 4767

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