Weekly Fishing Report – CSI- 24-09-2021

  • Central South Island
  • 24/09/2021
  • Richie Cosgrove

Weekly Fishing Report – CSI- 24-09-2021

Welcome back!

Welcome to the first Central South Island (CSI) weekly fi­shing report for the 2021-2022 sports fishing season, soon to open next Friday - the first of October!

This newsletter is written by the staff at CSI Fish & Game for your benefit.­

We'll aim to keep you educated, informed, entertained, and interested from now through to April.

As always, if you want to get in touch with any suggestions for report content, questions, or pass on your Central South Island-based fishing stories and photos, feel free to email me, Rhys Adams: radams@fishandgame.org.nz

Above Right: Harry Murphy, left, and Levi Julian fishing the Waitaki River on last years Opening Morning - credit Rhys Adams

We'd love to share your photos and stories; report readers want to know lures, baits and flies that you had success with and the locations (of course, we can keep your spots secret on request).

Opening Day this year falls one day before the school holidays.

It's already early enough to forecast that the kids will need some entertaining – why not take them fishing!

It is a bit far out to anticipate opening day conditions. Still, in the meantime, your 2020-2021 fish licence provides you with many opportunities to fish in the Mackenzie Basin Canals and Waitaki Lakes at our year-round fisheries this weekend.

Be sure to refer to your 2020/2021 regulation guide before heading out this weekend and carry your current 2020/2021 licence (expires 30 September).

Those from South Canterbury have the anniversary holiday on Monday too!

It's a wet, windy and wild outlook for Saturday in the Mackenzie Basin; Sunday and Monday look to be better fishing days – weather-wise.

But as "they" say, "you've got to be in to win", and the canals offer flood-free controlled flows, and if you search for it, there's always a semi-sheltered corner somewhere.

If you are stumped for a spot to fish, please review our location and access information, including access maps for our popular waters, Click here.

The new 2021/2022 season

There are a few essential matters to cover as we head into Opening Day on October 1st.

Firstly, be sure to get your new 2021/2022 season sports fishing licence, valid from 1 October.

Licences can be purchased from the Fish & Game NZ website, click here, and in-store from your local licence agent.

There are several licence types, so review the 2021/2022 licencing information here to see which licence best fits your fishing style.

Before purchasing your new licence, keep in mind there are new regulations for the upper Ohau River and our sea run salmon waters, so you may need to purchase a whole season licence.

Need anything clarified, get in touch with one of the CSI team directly by phoning 03 6158400 or email csi@fishandgame.org.nz

New Regulations for 2021/2022

Do take the time to review the First Schedule (National) and Second Schedule (CSI Region) regulations before fishing the new season. Several important changes have been made.

Find the online version of the regulation guide by clicking here

The following is a summary of the changes for the CSI Region:

Upper Ōhau River Spring Season 

WFR2122.02 The upper Ohau River opens on 1 October and anglers are required to hold a backcountry licence endorsement pic Rhys Adams

The upper Ōhau River opens on 1 October, and all anglers are required to hold a backcountry licence endorsement' pic Rhys Adams

The upper Ōhau River that flows between lakes Ōhau and Ruataniwha opens on 1 October.

A CSI Region backcountry licence endorsement is required in addition to your whole season licence. 

This is the first-ever 'designated backcountry' water in the CSI Region, a necessary management tool to record the number of anglers fishing this one-of-a-kind river.    

Click here to learn more about the Ōhau River backcountry fishery.

Click here to obtain a backcountry licence endorsement.

Click here to find out how the Ohau River Spring Season was introduced.

Sea Run Salmon Season Bag Limit Card required for Central South Island and North Canterbury Regions

Any angler that targets sea run salmon or wishes to keep any incidentally caught sea run salmon while trout fishing must hold a Sea Run Salmon Endorsement and a Sea Run Salmon Bag Limit Card.

A whole-season licence must be purchased to obtain your free Sea Run Salmon Endorsement and a Sea Run Salmon Bag Limit Card.

The season bag limit in sea run salmon waters is 2 salmon total for the combined waters of CSI and North Canterbury.

The season bag limit aims to ensure a higher proportion of the wild sea run makes it to the spawning grounds.   

All the information you need to learn about the new sea run salmon fishing rules and requirements and how to obtain your endorsement and bag limit card can be found here on the Fish & Game Website.

If you have a specific question, try our helpful Sea Run Salmon FAQ's, click here

For those who have already signed up for your free sea run salmon endorsement, your waterproof Season Bag Limit Card will arrive in the post in the next 10 days or so. 

Please note, this will arrive separately to your fishing licence. 

Bag limit change for the canals

The daily bag limit for the Mackenzie hydro canals and Lake Ruataniwha has been reduced for the new season.

The daily bag limit is now 2 fish.

Additionally, the only size limit regulation at the canals is a minimum size of 300mm for salmon only.

The change was primarily made to simplify the regulations. 

Lake Heron salmon

The size limit (slot limit) for salmon at Lake Heron has changed. The minimum take-able size has increased from 250mm and is now 300mm. 

The maximum take-able size remains at 450mm. 

The new minimum size aims to reduce the harvest of two-year-old lake type salmon. 

Regulation changes made regarding sockeye salmon will be covered in next weeks report; please look out for these while reviewing your 2021/2022 regulation guide.     


Council Meeting 

The next bi-monthly meeting of the CSI Fish and Game Council is on 30 September, 7 pm at 32 Richard Pearse Drive, Temuka. 

Licence holders and members of the public are welcome to attend. Covid Level 2 restrictions apply, including wearing a mask. 

Copies of Council Agendas and confirmed minutes are available under the terms of the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act 1987. 

Council meetings are advertised on our website here

CSI Council Elections 

For those already registered on the CSI electoral roll, please take the opportunity to vote in the election for Councillors. Voting closes at 5 pm, October 8.

Tight Lines

Rhys Adams, Central South Island Fish & Game Officer

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