Reel Life March 2024 - West Coast

  • West Coast
  • 21/03/2024

Reel Life March 2024 - West Coast

Late season opportunities

March and April are fantastic months to get out exploring.

As the summer comes to an end and Autumn cools things down, temperatures lend themselves to some great trout fishing.

Trout encountered in April will often be in their prime as they prepare for the upcoming spawn following a summer of packing on condition.

Fishing in the lakes improves especially during April, as things cool down and temperatures fall into the optimum range for trout once again.

Perch fishing continues to provide great fishing. Going off recent reports, anglers are finding that they are coming to the net readily with no shortage kicking around in the Hokitika lakes.

Salmon fishing in the river can be productive in April, with many fish leaving it to the last minute to dash to the spawning grounds.

Keeping in mind the Okarito River, Windbag Stream, and Lakes Ianthe, Mapourika, Paringa and Moeraki close for salmon fishing on March 31st.

This salmon season has shown some promise for next season, with some improvement on last year. There is hope for an improvement once again next season and larger fish as they capitalise on favourable sea conditions.  

A recent salmon management review has shed light on the critical role sea temperatures play in the health of the West Coast salmon population.

Unlike previous summers characterised by suboptimal La Niña conditions, the current shift to El Niño conditions is fostering a more favourable environment for salmon.

With cooler seas promoting greater productivity among salmon, we anticipate a resurgence in salmon numbers over the coming seasons, offering anglers improved fishing opportunities.

Those wanting to learn more can check out the salmon management review report by clicking the link below.

Field Work Update

March is a busy month for salmon compliance.

Staff are pleased to have found that everyone has been compliant on the salmon front.

It's uncommon for noncompliance on the West Coast, with majority of anglers happy to contribute their part to the management of our resource.

Although three non-resident anglers’ trout fishing in Haast and at Lake Brunner had to face steep repercussions and now have a better understanding of our justice system when they were found to be fishing without a licence.

If you do catch a salmon, please notify us at West Coast Fish & Game as we assess this year’s run. Harvest data combined with spawning counts allow us to make informed management decisions to ensure the fishery remains sustainable.

Hope to see you out there!

Baylee Kersten, West Coast Fish & Game Officer.

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