Weekly Fishing Report – Central South Island Region – 12th of January

  • Central South Island
  • 12/01/2018
  • Richie Cosgrove

It was nice to get a decent rainfall event this week on Wednesday and Thursday, and as I write this in haste on Friday morning, it is still lightly raining in Temuka.

The rain covered most of our region so it’s a return to spring-style planning for your weekend fishing and a case of jumping on the ECan river flows website, so check the situation.

Scroll right down to the bottom of this page and in the dark blue box you'll find our contact links, and most importantly a link to the ECan flow website link labelled as ‘North and South Canterbury River Flows’. 

A few rivers will be unfishable or marginal this weekend thanks to the rain and increased flows.

For many of these waterways the flows were getting very low and algae was starting to build up, so we hope when the flows recede the rivers are in better shape.

There will certainly be some opportunities for improved fishing as the flows recede and the rivers clear. For some smaller rivers and streams this will be over the weekend.

South of the Waitaki, there has been little rainfall since November so expect summer low flows in rivers like the Kakanui and Maerewhenua.

The Waitaki River flows are controlled for hydroelectricity so are dependent on power demand. For this reason the flows are usually more subdued in the weekends as industry slows down and requires less power.

Depending on what part of the Waitaki you fish, flows over 350 cumecs can be a challenge and become more manageable around 300 or lower. By all accounts the trout fishing in the Waitaki has been great this season.

The Rangitata River reached 270 cumecs so will take some time to clear.

Early next week there is another front due to hit the Southern Alps headwaters and may result in an unfishable Rangitata for a few days.

The river has been low and clear of late and not many salmon have been caught so a bit of a fresh will be welcomed by the regular anglers.

I had a quick look at the Temuka River this morning and it was flowing high, discoloured and unfishable at about 30 cumecs. It’s great to see ‘my local’ up again.

The Opihi River flows are up too and fishing will be affected over the weekend. By the time you read this, the river should have got an additional artificial boost in flows from the Opuha Dam.

A release of a total of around 65-70 cumecs from the Opuha Dam was done to try to flush algae from the river bed.

A media article was published yesterday to advise anglers of the event, it explains the situation in more detail, click here to view.  

Recently, the Opihi mouth appears to have blocked so it has been mechanically opened by ECan.

This is typical during summer low flow spells. Ecan opens the mouth when the surrounding huts and farmland at the lagoon are at risk on flooding. 

Let’s hope today that the rain and high flows will help keep the mouth open, flush the lagoon and entice a few salmon within casting range of the anglers.

High country rivers like the Ahuriri, Twizel and Tekapo have elevated flows so best to check the flows before you go.

Of course lakes, canals and spring creeks will be unaffected by the rain in the most part this weekend and with a half decent forecast there should be plenty of opportunity to get on the water. 

Word from rangers at the canals over the holidays is that the fishing has been challenging with no sign of any escapes of salmon from the farm to spice up the action.

At these times fly fishing for the smallish browns that cruise the canal edges can be rewarding.

We have received a couple of calls over the past week from anglers expressing their disappointment at the amount of rubbish, nylon fishing lines, etc. being left on the banks of the  canals. 

We ask that anglers please take your rubbish with you at the completion of your day out, or make use of the large ‘skip’ bin provided by Meridian near the intakes of the three Ohau power stations.

Tight lines

Rhys Adams, Fish & Game Officer, Central South Island



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