Reel Life January 2024

  • 19/01/2024

Reel Life January 2024

Hot weather brings on the action for anglers 

The fine summer weather has undoubtedly bought out the anglers.

Our staff and honorary Rangers who’ve been out checking licences throughout the summer have reported seeing loads of anglers when they’ve been in the field. 

Our lakes have been going strong, with anglers hitting these spots in droves during summer. 

The rivers have also produced nice catches like Jack Ogden’s Taranaki ringplain brown trout above. 

It has been awesome seeing lots of anglers out there fishing over the summer, enjoying what New Zealand has to offer. 

Sea-run salmon 

The 23/24 sea-run salmon season has begun, some will say, a little too slowly here, but it is still in the early days.

Many anglers have reported catches quite regularly since early December, like Simon McMillan’s one pictured above, from the Rakaia River in early January. 

It’s important to note that 90% of last year's reported harvest occurred after the first of January. 

So, there is plenty of time for those wanting to try their hand at catching one of these silver bullets before the sea-run salmon season. 

Remember that in the Central South Island and North Canterbury regions, a sea-run salmon licence is required, and you must have your sea-run salmon bag limit card on you when fishing for salmon. 

Drift Dives 

Above Nina Juby on the Waihou River drift dive Jan 2024. 

Fish & Game Staff have been out doing their annual Drift Dive programme in many regions over the summer. 

These dives are an essential tool in enabling us to assess the state of our rivers and their wider ecosystem. 

Click through to the regional links above to learn about the regions that have that programme underway at the moment. 

Hot water fishing tips from Nelson Marlborough

The hot weather also impacts your chance of angling success; the team at Nelson Marlborough  Fish & Game have a great article from Tony Entwistle about when the going gets hot

It is packed full of great advice for anglers in the summer months. 

Fish salvages 

This time of year also means that Fish & Game may be called upon to undertake Fish salvages when rivers dry up. 

The teams in Otago, Central South Island and North Canterbury have already undertaken some fish salvages this year, and we have the following info for anyone reporting a disconnected pool with fish in it. 

If you report a fish stranding to us, there are some critical pieces of information we are after as we triage the urgency to attend versus other important work at hand. 

  1. Exact location.
  2. How many live fish, their sizes, and species.
  3. How deep is the water in the pools (we can only recover using electric fishing in knee-deep or less).
  4. Is there water flowing into the pool where they are stranded?

Also, remember to ring your local Fish & Game office, as messaging through social media isn’t generally as quick as just calling the office. 

Hawkes Bay Fisheries recovering

The Hawkes Bay Fish and Game team report good news from their fisheries. 

They are getting good reports on how well their rivers have recovered since Cyclone Gabrielle, and as we approach the first anniversary, it’s great to see how well the region's rivers have started to recover. 

 Invertebrate life is returning, and the sightings of many fingerlings throughout the Mohaka, Ngaruroro & Tuki Tuki Rivers are positive signs. 

The many slips through the region will still be an issue for water clarity and will make the usual methods for assessing trout populations, such as drift diving and electric fishing, difficult. 

They are hoping that with the clear spell we have been having will enable them to get into the upper reaches to do some population assessments. 

Photo Competition 

When you are out fishing, don’t forget to take some photos, enter your images in our monthly fishing licence photo competition, and go in the draw to win a $250 Kilwell voucher.  

Plus if you are the monthly winner, have a one in four chance of winning the overall competition and winning an additional $1000 Kilwell voucher. 

From January you can also enter our Wild Kai photo Competition click here to learn more and be ready to enter your Wild Kai photos in the draw. 

Tight Lines From the Team at Fish & Game NZ

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