North Canterbury Reel Life September 2018

  • North Canterbury
  • 27/09/2018

North Canterbury Reel Life September 2018

Opening Day prospects

One of the biggest influences on fish condition and abundance in the lead up to Opening Day is how many severe floods happened in the preceding months.

Fortunately in the North Canterbury Region we haven't had the characteristic large nor-west rainfalls we usually get.

For our backcountry and alpine rivers this provides a stable environment that promotes algal growth for the invertebrates to feed on.

Of course too much algal growth has negative impacts, but this doesn’t usually occur until the temperature warms up over summer.

So for now the rivers are looking stable.

At the time of writing there was some westerly weather forecast before opening, but nothing that looked like a game changer.

Staff have spent a lot of time in the high country this year looking for winter-run salmon.

While there hasn’t been many of them around there have been plenty of trout this year.

It also seems that brown trout spawned reasonably early this year and have been back feeding for a while.

Foothill streams such as the Ashley and Selwyn have good healthy flows at the moment, as do the lowland streams including Lake Ellesmere tributaries.

The lake is currently open to the sea which is great timing for Opening Day.

High country lakes are looking good with fish already rising on the warmer days.

Remember, most of these are closed in October and don't open until the first Saturday in November.

Some of you will have noticed an error in our regulations this year - the date for opening of the high country is down as November 4, which is a Sunday.

This is a mistake - it should read November 3.

More reminders about this will be sent out closer to the time to avoid any confusion.

Silverstream restoration project


Emily Arthur-Moore is leading the restoration of the Silverstream

Fish & Game and the Water & Wildlife Habitat Trust have launched a crowd funding campaign for the restoration of a stream near Christchurch - Silverstream.

Silverstream is an important trout spawning and rearing tributary of the Selwyn/ Waikirikiri River.

Better habitat in this stream will lead to more fish for you to catch in the Selwyn!

Visit here for more information including a short video about the project.

If your browser does not like this link simply visit the Million Meters Stream website and look up the Silverstream project.

Any donation, no matter how small, will bring us a step closer to achieving our goal.

We also have opportunities for those who want to get their hands dirty and volunteer on the project.

Email Emily on to be listed on our volunteers database.

Tony Hawker, North Canterbury Fish & Game Officer.

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