Central South Island Reel Life Mar 2017

  • 31/03/2017
  • Richie Cosgrove

Central South Island Reel Life Mar 2017

Use April to 'go explore'

April is the last month of the ‘summer’ fishing season.

After that it’s time to focus on the year-round fisheries like the canals and those with winter seasons like Lake Alexandrina.

In the meantime why not use the last month of the summer season as an opportunity to tick the box of a goal you've never achieved.

In a region with so many fishing options there are plenty of boxes to tick.

One of these options could be taking a rod with you on a hunting trip and having a cast in a back country river seldom fished, or with that bridge you've crossed and wondered...'any fish in that stream?' Why not fish it?

That lake you've never trolled because you always go to your ‘honey pot’ is not far away - why not wobble a Tassie there?

What about that possible ‘spot’ you’ve seen on maps but a Google search offers no clues about its fishy inhabitants…

Top right: Rhys Adams returned to this river he found while hunting. 

Helping the browns at Lake Alexandrina

Since 2011, the Lake Alexandrina Conservation Trust have been working hard to enhance the habitat of Outlet Creek, Lake Alexandrina.

This February, thanks to funding from Mackenzie District Council and Pub Charity, the trust was able to complete the final stage of habitat construction over the lower 100 metres of the creek.

Over a week a digger and loader worked away to scoop out a channel to design specifications, line it with huge boulders and then fill it with graded spawning gravels.

The enhancement works are designed to provide brown and rainbow trout with improved spawning habitat.

Where once the creek only offered a few small areas to spawn, now it provides about 20 large gravel beds for hundreds of trout to use.

In addition, in the upper section of the creek deep holes and rocky areas provide shelter for both spawning adults and their offspring and habitat for invertebrate and fish prey to grow and feed the trout.

Lake Alexandrina and adjoining Lake MacGregor have always held big fish in great condition.

The trust hopes the enhancement works will increase the population of fish and continue to boost the scenic aspects of the outlet area.

Ongoing works will be required, spraying of riparian weeds and unwanted plants will continue along with annual maintenance of the gravel spawning beds.

Sockeye salmon turn up in numbers

Sockeye salmon are unique to the Waitaki Catchment in the Central South Island Fish & Game Region.

They live their adult lives in lakes and spawn in March in tributary streams.RLmar17CSI1 A 26 sockeye meal extracted from a trouts stomach2

This year they have caught the attention of many anglers and the public, turning up to spawn in their thousands throughout the Waitaki catchment.   

The real benefit to anglers is the food source they supply in the form of their juvenile offspring.

Left: A 26 sockeye meal extracted from a trout’s stomach.

Trout and Chinook salmon will fill their bellies with juvenile sockeye given the opportunity.

With thousands spawning throughout the Mackenzie Basin this year, we anticipate that trout in Lake Benmore, Pukaki, Ohau, Aviemore will be well fed come next summer.

This phenomenon was graphically illustrated back in 2009, when an angler discovered 26 juvenile sockeye salmon in the gut of their five pound Lake Benmore trout.

Recently Fish & Game Officer Jayde Couper was accompanied by our Fish & Game media expert Richard Cosgrove to film the sockeye spawning and shared his knowledge of the sports fish species. Here’s the link to the video.


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