Weekly Fishing Report for Central South Island - 24 December 2020

  • Central South Island
  • 23/12/2020
  • Richie Cosgrove

Weekly Fishing Report for Central South Island - 24 December 2020

Merry Christmas from the team at Central South Island Fish and Game. 

Lake fishing is looking your best option for the coming days weather wise, and it also offers the chance for the whole family to do a bit of fishing. 

Angling opportunities abound this summer, particularly with the absence of overseas anglers on some of the New Zealand’s premium Backcountry fisheries. 

There simply has never been a better time to get out on the water and experience our world renowned fisheries. 

Christmas boost for canal fishing opportunities due to power station upgrades

Anglers fishing the Tekapo Canal have had an early Christmas present with a boost in their chances due to Genesis Energy and Central South Island Fish & Game (CSI Fish & Game). 

Above: CSI Fish & Game Officers Jayde Couper and Hamish Stevens electric fish the Gate 16 spillway.

A research project that aims to understand the contribution that trout which migrate from the headwater lakes make to the world-famous canal fishery has provided a benefit to anglers in the Tekapo Canal. 

During 2020, CSI Fish & Game have relocated 403 tagged trout in July and around 150 tagged trout this week from the upper Tekapo riverbed into the Tekapo Canal. 

The latest relocation of tagged trout has occurred this week significantly boosting the chances of a successful fishing trip. 

Lake Tekapo and the Upper Tekapo River are managed by Genesis Energy for hydroelectricity generation and this is an important pathway for trout to migrate from the lake into the Tekapo Canal. 

A unique combination of high rainfall events and infrastructure upgrades led to extended periods of flow release from the Tekapo Control Structure (Gate 16) to the upper river from December 2019 to December 2020.


Tagged trout are released into the Tekapo Canal.

Genesis Energy has helped the trout relocations by pumping-out of the control gate pond on two occasions during 2020 and that has enabled CSI Fish & Game to capture, tag and relocate hundreds of trout to the Tekapo Canal. 

CSI Fish & Game are asking anglers to help-out with the research project by reporting the capture of tagged trout, even if that fish is released. 

The tags are small, yellow-coloured, strips inserted by the dorsal fin and each tag has a unique four-digit number which must be reported. We also need to know the date of capture, location, whether it was kept or released and an estimate of its size. 

Most tagged trout from the July relocation have been caught by anglers very close to where Fish & Game released them at the canal and they were a common catch in the first few weeks after relocation. The trout were released near the Tekapo Canal salmon farms this December, so that is a top-tip for a good spot to fish these holidays. 

If you do catch a tagged trout please report the unique four-digit tag number to CSI Fish & Game as well as whether it was kept or released, approximate location, and its estimated size. Phone 03 6158400 or email csi@fishandgame.org.nz 

You can watch a video of the July relocation here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YjSsy9j7ZDY 

2019/20 Compliance update

CSI Fish Game Compliance Coordinator Hamish Stevens checks on anglers fishing the Hakataramea River Photo Credit Lee Sarson 1

CSI Fish Game Compliance Coordinator Hamish Stevens checks on anglers fishing the Hakataramea River-Photo Credit Lee Sarson

Two months into the new sports fishing season, the Central South Island Fish & Game Council (CSI Fish & Game) is pleased that 98% of anglers are following the rules. 

Since October 1, 445 anglers have been interviewed with eight offenders encountered. 

The most common offence detected was fishing without a valid sports fishing licence, other offences detected were: using more than one rod; being more than 15 metres from their rod and using illegal bait.

CSI Fish & Game are reminding anglers to purchase a 2020-2021 season licence and have it on them, ready to show a Ranger.

All freshwater anglers that fish for trout, salmon, perch and other sports fish, must hold a valid sports fishing licence and adhere to the sports fishing regulations in their regulation guides, which can differ between waterways.

During the 2019/20 season, CSI Fish & Game Rangers checked 1,800 anglers on 36 waterways and 38 people were caught committing 47 offences, most near the hydro-electric canals around Tekapo and Twizel.

The most common offence (21) found by Rangers last season was fishing without a valid sports fishing licence. 

Other offences were: fishing out of season; providing false and misleading information; and using more than one fishing rod. 

Rarer offences included: submitting fraudulent documents; being more than 15m from rod; using more than one bait assembly and using berley to attract fish. 

Twenty five offenders were summonsed to appear in the District Court. 

The penalty for fishing without a licence – and most other regulation breaches- is a fine of up to $5,000, forfeiture of fishing gear used and a criminal conviction. 

CSI Fish & Game Rangers look forward to meeting plenty of anglers out enjoying their fishing this summer and encourage anyone with questions to contact CSI Fish & Game for information.

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