Weekly Fishing Report - 14 December 2017

  • Wellington
  • 14/12/2017
  • Wellington

Weekly Fishing Report - 14 December 2017

The rain has arrived just in time and it should set the fishing alight!

All rivers throughout the region were getting critically low but this pulse of rain will have done the waterways and the fisheries a world of good.

Many anglers had started to notice the fishing was tailing off with the trout just not eating - a sure sign of stress from the low flows and high water temps. This rain, though, will get them back on the bite as it freshens flows and cools the water. They'll be playing catch up for lost time.     

While some rivers are running a little coloured at present, most are dropping to optimum fishable clarity just in time for the weekend. So make sure you get out on the water. Escape the Christmas shopping fiasco and catch some Zen time on the river...

On that note, why not get someone a licence for Christmas (buy online here)? There's no need to go anywhere near the dreaded shops or shopping malls, saving you time to go fishing, and you can tick another present off your list. A win all round!

From all the Wellington Fish & Game team, we hope you have a great Christmas and get plenty of time on the water. We'll be sending out abridged reports for the next few weeks, with the full service resuming mid-Jan.      

PS - There has been some confusion around toxic algae alerts for the Hutt catchment. It IS SAFE to go fishing (though experts advise against eating fish from affected waterways). Click here for more.

Pictured above right: Close-quarters fishing in low flow conditions last week. (Credit Hamish Carnachan

Here's the outlook:

Hutt River and tributaries


Click the weather icons above to update.

The Hutt River has had a very welcome flush through it and is running at around 9 cumecs (cubic metres per second) this morning, making it slightly coloured but still fishable. At time of writing the river has just peaked and is starting to fall so it should be set up beautifully for the weekend, even tomorrow arvo. Again, please be aware that there are toxic algae alerts out for the catchment, however it is still safe to go fishing (though experts advise against eating fish from affected waterways). For more information on the algae, click here.                 


Kapiti Coast


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The Kapiti Coast rivers have copped some rain too which, again, is a good thing given they were starting to struggle with very low flows. The Waikanae appears to have peaked around 7am this morning so will be fine for the weekend; the Otaki and Ohau are still on the up but given the forecast amount of rain we're picking they going to quickly fall back to near normal flows by Saturday - just check the latest flows before heading out.    



Wairarapa14Dec2017Click the weather icons above to update.

Staff were down at the Ruamahanga this morning and although the flow is well up from previous weeks, it is clear as gin. At time of writing the river looks to have peaked but just check the flows before heading out in case another pulse is coming through. At this stage though we're calling all rivers in Wairarapa 'green for go'.




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The rain that brought freshes to the lower part of the region appears to have totally missed the Manawatu catchment - it is very low! All of the Pohangina, Orua and Mangatainoka rivers are spiking slightly and this could bring a little welcome extra flow to the mainstem but all should be fishable for the weekend.  




Click the weather icons above to update.

By the looks of the Rangitikei this morning there must have been a bit of rain in the upper catchment because it is flowing slightly discoloured at time of writing. The tribs will also be carrying a bit of colour and flow but should clear faster than the mainstem. The Rangitikei is an outside chance for the weekend but we're confident the Hautapu and lesser tribs will be good to go.              

Video of the week

Here's Andrew Harding's latest production, just cut together last week. Revel in the Wellington Fish & Game angling splendour!


Tip of the Week - Handle With Care...

Despite the recent fresh providing welcome relief to the river and trout, it won't be long before flows return to very low levels and the fish become stressed again.

Reiterating our tips last week for handling fish carefully to ensure they have the best chance of survival after release, here's some more useful information...  


Click on the screenshot above to watch how the experts at Eastern Fish & Game's Ngongataha Hatchery handle trout.

Just remember that for all their hard-fighting capabilities, trout are vulnerable to poor treatment by anglers. It makes no sense to handle a fish so badly that it will be poor eating or die when it is released.   

Looking after the fish we catch is not only better for the health of our trout populations and the future of the fishery, but also your reputation as a provider of good quality food for family and friends. .          

By Wellington Fish & Game officer Hamish Carnachan.

Stuck for Christmas present ideas?


If you’re short of ideas on pressies for outdoor-minded friends or relations, consider a subscription to our Fish & Game NZ magazine.

Given the price of glossy mags these days it’s a real bargain for an annual subscription of $35. There’s heaps of great info on the mag’s website too.

Head to the magazine website (click the cover image above) and find out how to enter.


Notice board

  • If you didn't receive a copy of our annual angling newsletter you can download a copy here.
  • River bulldozing - Don't let this destructive activity by Greater Wellington Regional Council ruin your fishing. Click here for the latest schedule of river destruction (you can also register your complaints through this page).
  • Ruamahanga access at Gliding Club (Greytown). Anglers are being directed to the Tilsen Road access.
  • Moawhanga Flushing Flows - Click here for more information but following is an early alert for the dates the flushes be will conducted: 
    - 23/24 January (after Wellington anniversary weekend)
    - 13/14 February
    - 13/14 March
    - 17/18 April


Email Wellington Communications and Field Officer Hamish Carnachan if you'd like any fishing or freshwater-related items posted to this noticeboard.

​*This report was accurate at time of writing - please ensure you check the latest weather and river flow information before you head out on the water.

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