Ōhau River Spring Season Ballot to Open on 27 June

  • 7/06/2023

Ōhau River Spring Season Ballot to Open on 27 June

Central South Island Fish & Game (CSI) has set up a ballot system (lottery) to control angler numbers at the Ōhau River between lakes Ōhau and Ruataniwha.

Controlling angler numbers on the Ōhau River maintains its high-country fishery aesthetics during the popular September and October controlled period, also known as the “Spring Season.”

A ballot draw will be held on 19 July to randomly and fairly allocate a limited number of highly sought-after controlled period licences to anglers.

Controlled period licences enable anglers to fish for a specified 2-day fishing allocation only.

Above Right: Jake Scranney with a rainbow trout caught during the 2022 Spring Season - Photo David Scranney

The Ballot opens for entries on 27 June and closes on 17 July at 5 pm.

Ballot entries must be made via an online form posted on the Ōhau River Controlled Fishery webpage on the www.fishandgame.org.nz website.

The Ōhau River’s Spring Season offers a one-of-a-kind high-country trophy trout fishery that opens two months earlier than nearby high-country river fisheries.

The Ōhau River was formerly a regionally significant trout fishery before being dewatered during the construction of the Waitaki hydroelectricity scheme in the 1980s. CSI Fish & Game worked with Meridan to reestablish flows for a recreational fishery, but unfortunately, the summertime fishery has not returned.

The Spring Season returns a prized fishery to the Ōhau River by allowing anglers to access the later part of the rainbow trout spawning run.

CSI Fish & Game research has revealed that all brown trout and two-thirds of rainbow trout spawning is completed by September and that spawning during September and October is unlikely to add appreciably to annual spawning production.

The long-term sustainability of the Ōhau River and its interconnected trout fisheries are supported by CSI Fish & Game with the help of Meridian Energy. Creating artificial gravel spawning beds provides a significant addition to the poor spawning habitat naturally available. Annual research provides information on the health of the trophy trout fishery while Spring Season angling surveys monitor angler catch and satisfaction.

For more information about the ballot – click here.

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