Reel Life January 2024

  • Auckland/Waikato
  • 19/01/2024

Reel Life January 2024

Waihou is full of good fish

Staff have just completed the Waihou River Drift Dive, and the results were impressive, with literally hundreds of legal fish per kilometre of river.

This is a good sign for all the spring creeks, so the Waimakariri and Oraka should also be fishing well.

Most fish were on bends and where the water changes depth, so avoid the weed beds and go small.

We have posted some video from the dive on our Facebook page if you want to see exactly where the fish are.

The Blue Springs walkway is closed, but the river remains open for fishing as long as you stay off the track.

There is a fence up, but you can walk around it on public land. The divers spotted some large fish just on the other side of the fence.

This is a perfect time of year to get out there with the cicadas out in force and the warm water concentrating fish into higher elevation areas, so the Kaniwhaniwha, upper Waipa, Awakino and Whakapapa/Whanganui should all be fishing well.

Above right: Nina Juby on the Waihou River drift dive Jan 2024

Hot weather = fish kills

It is getting hot, and unfortunately, without oxygen limits on our rivers to protect fish, there will likely be fish kills somewhere in our region this summer.

Low dissolved oxygen (DO)  is one of the biggest killers of fish on the North Island.

Low DO events can be naturally caused, but the vast majority are caused by large quantities of organic matter washing off farms or from treatment systems, causing a biological reaction that uses up all the oxygen.

We have recently had dead fish reported in Parkinsons Lake, similar to last year when a drain was cleared discharging large amounts of organic matter into the lake.

It is very important to report fish kills immediately so council staff can check the oxygen levels as soon as possible.

Even a couple of hours delay could prevent determining the cause of the event.

If you see dead fish or fish gasping for air at the surface, please contact the local regional council immediately.

A phone call is better than an email, but documenting the issue is critical to forcing the council to protect our waterways.

Council contacts

Waikato Regional Councilonline reporting  0800 800 401

Horizons Regional Council - 0508 800 800

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