North Canterbury Fishing Report Thursday 14th March 2019

  • North Canterbury
  • 14/03/2019
  • Richie Cosgrove

North Canterbury Fishing Report Thursday 14th March 2019

The last week has been a relatively positive week for salmon anglers in the region.

Although the salmon fishery is not experiencing the returns seen in the nineties, anglers are more optimistic than they've been for a few years.

Above right:Thomas Moffett with a nice Lake Coleridge Salmon.

Reasonable numbers were caught in the lower Waimakariri River, with McIntosh’s the favored spot.

The Rakaia, Hurunui and Waiau rivers have also seen a few salmon caught over the last week.

The next few weeks should see the peak of the Waimakariri salmon fishing so make the most of this period.

A nor-wester in the alps is likely to bring the rivers down dirty this weekend, but this will encourage salmon to run the rivers as they clear.

When the rivers do come down with a bit of colour, the tail end of the fresh is usually a good time to target salmon, with things generally quietening off as flows recede and waters become clear at this time of year. 

Following the small fresh last week, river temperatures dropped to more favorable levels for salmon and the forecast is for a southerly front to pass over again this weekend, which should cool the river temperatures again.

The forecast doesn't look good for the high country on Friday and Saturday, but the wind and rain is expected to ease Saturday and be clear by Sunday.

Anglers should make the most of any good weather as we should still get some great fishing in the high country lakes, especially Lake Coleridge over the next few weeks, with the fishing season closing in most places at the end of April.

As well as promoting the catching of salmon, the recently formed National Sea-Run Salmon Committee is looking at ways to reduce salmon harvest in the future, which will not find favour with all anglers.

Our science suggests we’re potentially over-harvesting returning adult salmon, which may reduce the viability of the population long-term.

To reduce harvest, our council will be considering a number of options and we will keep you updated on this process. 

Good luck if you are heading out over the last weekend of the season.

Walter and Jill update!

The two monster rainbows (Walter and Jill)  released into Lake Georgina on Waitangi Day, have yet to be caught.

For the lucky angler that lands either one of these fish there are some fantastic prizes from Hunting & Fishing Tower Junction, for the person that presents the tag at the North Canterbury Fish & Game office.

We have only heard of anglers that have lost these fish so they are still out there, lurking in the depths!

Notice to Anglers-Volunteer Assistance Needed

Attention anglers! Fin Clipping Weekend at Montrose Club Funds Raising Event on Saturday 6th and Sunday 7th April, 2019.

The second part of the annual chinook salmon smolt fin clipping program will commence at the Montrose hatchery at 8.30 am Saturday 6th and Sunday 7th of April and will probably involve two partial days clipping finishing around  2pm with a good team both days.

This important task of marking chinook salmon for the purpose of identification within the fishery is one of the most essential fisheries management tools we have. 

North Canterbury Fish & Game is inviting members of the New Zealand Salmon Anglers Association and the Canterbury Lurefishing Association, and members of the public to assist with the task of adipose fin clipping approximately 140,000 Salmon smolt at the site.

These smolt stocks are destined for release into the Waimak, Rakaia, Coleridge, Kaikoura rivers, and the West Coast in July.

Numbers of club members needed to complete this task on this weekend are 40 volunteers on both days.

Members of the public are also very welcome, so invite your friends and their families to enjoy the comraderie of anglers on this social and educational event.

Fish and Game rangers and council members are also invited to take part over the weekend.

The car pool meeting point will be at the Yaldhurst Hotel car park, at 7.30am both days.

Volunteers who haven't been to the Montrose hatchery before and are making their own way up, should head for Blackford Road which is the first road on the right after crossing the Rakaia Gorge bridge; it is on the south side of the river.

The entrance to the property is six kilometres up the road from the turn off and it will be marked by an angler access sign.

If the road turns to shingle, you have gone past the entrance by a couple of kilometres!

Fish & Game will provide a barbecue lunch on the day.

Warm clothes and wet weather gear is advised. Gumboots or waders are also advised.

An indication of numbers from the clubs, or members of the public prior to the weekend would be appreciated. Please contact below. 

Tell all your friends! A good crowd is needed for this one! Looking forward to catching up with you all, for what is not only a valuable part of fisheries enhancement process, but also a great social event for anglers. 

Next council meeting 

The next North Canterbury Fish & Game Council meeting is next Wednesday, March 20, start time is 6.30pm all welcome to attend.

Steve Terry, North Canterbury Fish & Game Officer

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