Fishing Report for the North Canterbury Region, Thursday 5th November 2020

  • North Canterbury
  • 5/11/2020
  • Richie Cosgrove

Fishing Report for the North Canterbury Region, Thursday 5th November 2020

The weather forecast for the weekend is mixed, Saturday morning looks good before a southerly front and rain arrives late Saturday and lasting through to Sunday evening. 

The main alpine fed rivers are running high this week will heavy rain still falling in the headwaters and will not be fishable this weekend.

Headwater spring creeks and back country fisheries should still be clear and fishable and would be a great place to head to this Saturday.

Anglers please remember, all rivers flowing into high country lakes do not open until the 1st of December. 

This year, the opening of the North Canterbury high country lakes will be celebrated again with a fishing competition at Lake Coleridge, which is free to enter, with a great prize pool generously sponsored by Hunting and Fishing. 

Above Right: Anglers enjoying Lake Lyndon, the closest lake for Christchurch anglers.

The focus of the competition is on participation, and every angler who shows their licence at the weigh-in will be in the draw for spot prizes.

The competition will be based in the paddock on the left as you turn off the Harper Road at the Ryton Bridge to head down to Ryton Bay at the bridge, where there will be a Fish & Game tent and weigh station.

Weigh-in is from 9am – 1pm, with the prize draw around 1:30pm.

Please ensure you arrive at the weigh-in before 1pm to avoid missing out. 

All fish must be caught in Lake Coleridge or the nearby Coleridge lakes.

They must be whole and not gutted for the weigh-in. There will be a free sausage sizzle all day.

Free camping has also been made available here by the landowner for the weekend.

If you are staying the night please take all your rubbish with you, use the toilet on site available until Monday, or the one in Ryton Bay by the lake and no dogs are allowed due to lambing.

Lake Forsyth has been fishing well recently for both trout and perch.

These are best targeted by spin fishing using a softbait or Rapala, with anglers regularly reporting catching and releasing in excess of a dozen fish. 

The start of the annual salmon run is a highly anticipated event, and the early run is often heavily targeted by recreational anglers.

As a result, salmon that enter early in the season (i.e. November / December) may be exposed to angling pressure for a much longer time-period than later run fish.

If left unchecked this may impose large mortality on early entering fish, leading to depletion of sub-populations or specific life history types. 

A salmons age is determined at its time of death, which is traditionally May/June.

Consequently in order to be able to evaluate if the early (November / December) run salmon (often of a reasonable size and therefore potentially four year olds, rather than three year olds which form the bulk of the run) belong to any particular sub-population such as Mellish Stream/Lake Heron, or are currently at risk of being over-harvested, it is essential to determine where they were born.

This can be done using chemical analysis of water samples and salmon otoliths (ear bones). 

Fish & Game would like anglers to keep any salmon heads they catch in any river in Nov/Dec, recording the date and location caught, weight, length and sex of the salmon.

Please let us know and we will collect these heads and information from you.

From analysing the otoliths, we should be able to determine where they were born (natal origin), determine at what size they entered the ocean (life history type), and determine if their size (length or weight) and sex differs significantly from later run fish.

Good luck if you are heading out for a fish this weekend

Steve Terry, North Canterbury Fish and Game Officer


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