North Canterbury Weekly Fishing Report 11th April 2019

  • North Canterbury
  • 11/04/2019
  • Richie Cosgrove

North Canterbury Weekly Fishing Report 11th April 2019

Dear Anglers, 

At the time of writing over 100 mm of rain has fallen in the alps, and the rivers are on the rise.

Be aware that river levels will lift substantially in the lower reaches of the main catchments later today.

With that amount of rain it is hard to imagine that our main rivers will be fishable over the weekend.

It may be worth a look Sunday if the flows subside quickly as they can do sometimes?

Above right: Anglers as far as the eye can see at the annual Waimakariri Rangers Fishing Competition.

Keep an eye on the Ecan river flows site just in case, the forecast in the Alps is for no rain from mid-day Thursday for the next few days.

Weekend angling prospects may be better targeted at lake trout fishing, or even land-locked salmon in Lake Coleridge.

Lake Coleridge can fish very well late in the season for salmon and trout.

Trolling from a boat with perch Rapalas, or just a plain silver 10 gram toby can work well.

For shore-based anglers, use soft baits or silver or black lures like small 'ticers up to 20 grams, and cast into the deep drop-off margin.

Early before the sun hits the water is best, or fish from dusk and on into the night.

Land-locked salmon will be starting to congregate around the inflowing streams during this month.


Rex Gibson, left, receives the Jack Kerapa cup from Brian Smart.

The Annual Rangers competition was held at the Waimakariri, Kairaki Beach on Monday.

Over 100 anglers attended but despite their efforts no salmon were caught during the comp.

Fish & Game staff were on duty cooking sausages all morning, at what turned out to be a great day for a barbecue.

The social aspect of this competition is certainly a highlight, and although anglers did not go home with a fish, many went home with some great prizes.

A special thanks to Brian Smart for organising this historic social angling event! 

Fin Clipping - more help needed!

fin clipping2

The team last Sunday going pretty good clipping 14,000 salmon smolts an hour.

Last weekend over 60 volunteers took part in another angler social event, fin clipping at Montrose.

Volunteers clipped 140,000 smolts over the two days.

Unfortunately we did not quite get them all clipped, there are about 20,000 left to do, which needs to be done asap.

With a team of 25 to 30 people this task will take about three hours.

The plan is to complete the job this Sunday 14th April with an 8.30 am start and finish with a barbecue at 12pm.     

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. 


The correct technique displayed of handling the anesthetised smolts, and clipping the adipose fin for identification.

North Canterbury Fish & Game staff are 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 about 20,000 Salmon smolt at the site.

These smolt stocks are destined for release into the Waimakariri River, Rakaia River, Lake Coleridge, Kaikoura, and the West Coast in July. 

We need 30 volunteers to complete this task and members of the public are also very welcome, so invite your friends and their families to enjoy the comraderie of anglers on this very social and educational event.

Fish & 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 Sunday.

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 heading south.

The entrance to the property is six kilometres up the road from the turn off and it will be marked by a blue and white fin clip sign near the Montrose Estates sign. 

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

Fish & Game will be providing a barbecue lunch on the day.

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

Tell all your friends! A good crowd is always welcome! 

Compliance issues

Anglers please be aware that some fisheries are closed for angling as of March 31st.

This is to protect spawning brood stocks needed for the future prosperity of our fishery.

Consult your regulation guide if in doubt!

If you see any illegal activities, please Call Fish & Game on 0800-327426, or Dirk Barr, 021-221 8378, Steve Terry, 021-221 8327, Tony Hawker, 021-221 8325.

We will try and get a ranger there asap.

Rakaia River Gala

This Sunday from 11am at the North Rakaia huts boat ramp is a fundraising gala to fund improvements to the boat ramp and surrounding area. All welcome to come along:-) 

Next North Canterbury Fish and Game Council meeting: April 17, 6.30pm, 595 Johns Road.

Tight lines all,

Dirk Barr, North Canterbury Fish and Game Officer

Mob 021- 221 8378

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