Fishing report for the North Canterbury Region Friday 21st December 2018

  • North Canterbury
  • 20/12/2018
  • Richie Cosgrove

Fishing report for the North Canterbury Region Friday 21st December 2018

Hello and welcome to the North Canterbury region fishing report, the weather this weekend will continue to be cooler then normal. 

There is a southerly change due late Saturday which will bring more rain to the plains. 

This is meant to reach into the high country as well, no heavy rain is forecast at this stage.

We have had some significant rain this week in the high country and foot hills. 

Meaning all the main alpine rivers are high and dirty at the time of writing (Thursday). 

It is unlikely that they will be fishable this weekend.

Foothill rivers also received a lot of rain this week, both the Ashley and upper Selwyn are running quite high. 

The foothill tributaries around the Hurunui and Waiau rivers are significantly high and will be for some time.

So it will be a bit limited this weekend, lowland spring creeks will be OK along with Lake Ellesmere tributaries. 

Lake Ellesmere is still open to the sea, high country lakes could also be a good option as it should be reasonable calm in the back country.

Back country rivers will be just starting to clear by the weekend as well.

This week staff have been busy collecting juvenile salmon from all the spawning streams in the upper Rakaia catchment. 

The purpose of which is to collect otoliths (ear bone). 

By doing chemical analysis on water samples and the otoliths we can determine a signature for every spawning stream in the catchment.

Then otoliths from adult salmon can be compared to these juvenile signatures to determine which part of the catchment they came from. 

This is useful for understanding where specific runs of salmon end up going. 

For example does the November/December run of salmon ending up going to Mellish stream which runs into Lake Heron.

We can also determine how long they spend in each part of the catchment before they go to sea. 

This will be useful for understanding what habitats are not doing so well and also which areas have the best rate of return and survivability.

To do this we need anglers to keep the salmon heads for us. 

We also require some basic information such as the date and location caught, weight length and sex of the fish. 

Then simply keep the salmon head in the freezer and contact Steve Terry (021 221 8325 or 

We will then come and pick up the heads and information from you.

Tight lines

Tony Hawker, North Canterbury Fish & Game Council


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