Weekly Fishing report for Central South Island and North Canterbury for 24 April 2024

  • North Canterbury Central South Island
  • 24/04/2024

Weekly Fishing report for Central South Island and North Canterbury for 24 April 2024

Central South Island Report


Farewell to Mark Webb

In this final weekly fishing report of the 2023/24 fishing season, we celebrate the end of another ‘season’ with the retirement of Fish & Game Officer Mark Webb.

Mark Webb will be a familiar name to many readers having dedicated his working life to managing the sports fish and game resource and all that has entailed.

Mark has worked for Central South Island Fish & Game since it was formed in 1990 but started his “Fish & Game” career in 1984 with the South Canterbury Acclimitisation Society.

Notable achievements by Mark include:

  • Leading research into angler values that supported the establishment of the Rangitata Water Conservation Order.
  • Leading research that supported the installation of fish screens on the Rangitata Diversion Race.
  • Developing practical and technical solutions in the development of Fish Screen Guidelines.
  • Leading spawning habitat enhancement projects at Lake Alexandrina.
  • Building connections between rural communities and Fish & Game.
  • Supporting volunteer-led projects.
  • Designing novel regulations to maximise opportunities to fish and hunt.          

From a colleague’s perspective we will miss Mark’s front-footed, creative and technical approach to challenges big and small.    

Please join us in congratulating Mark on his successful career and wishing him the best for his well-earned retirement.

Pictured above: Fish & Game Officer Mark Webb gives the thumbs-up for retirement after a successful and respected career with Central South Island Fish & Game.


Research highlights the “most common” canal angler

New research give insight into the most common canal angler.

Thanks again to the hundreds of anglers who participated in last season’s canal angler survey.

Canal-bank interviews were undertaken throughout the season by our team of four Fish & Game Officers. 

We are pleased to announce we have recently published the survey report, which is available for you to read or download on our website – click here.

The report presents findings that support the informed management of the canal fishery including providing direction to the upcoming review of the canal fishery management strategy – the current canal management strategy can be viewed here.

By highlighting the most common angler activities and responses given in the interviews, the theoretical “most common” canal angler of the 2022/23 season can be described as one that:

  • Uses both bait and spin methods,
  • primarily bait fishes but prefers to spin fish,
  • does not fish late at night (11pm-5am),
  • has fished the canals between 21-50 days over the past five years, and between 1–10 days over the past 12 months,
  • Rates the Ōhau C Canal as their favourite canal section to fish,
  • highly values the winter fishing opportunities,
  • highly values the opportunity to fish for salmon and trophy trout,
  • does not prefer to catch any particular sports fish species for its sporting nature,
  • prefers to harvest salmon,
  • supports the winter closure of the upper Tekapo canal,
  • would support the reopening of the winter closure subject to adequate monitoring being put in place to assess sustainability.
  • ranks the availability of salmon, the ease of access and the high-country setting as three top reasons why they fish the canals. 


Return your sea-run salmon season bag card

The sea-run salmon season closes on 30 April.

You have until May 7th to return your 2023/24 sea-run salmon season bag card. If you have no intention of going sea-run salmon fishing between today and the end of the season or have already achieved your season bag limit, then we encourage you to return your season bag card asap.

It’s super easy to complete your card return via the online return form – click here.
If you prefer to post or drop-off the card, information is printed on the card to assist you.


Looking ahead to winter fishing opportunities

Winter fishing at Lake Tekapo/Takapō.

The “summer” fishing season ends up next week on 30 April.

Be sure to check out the 2023/24 sports fishing regulations guide here firsthand to check out what water is open between May and September and the regulations that apply.

Although most of our waterways are closed for sports fishing come Monday 1st of May, we do have lots of open water to enjoy during the May-September months, including some of the most popular winter fisheries in NZ!

Here are a few options to keep in mind:


Year-round fishing options 

The following waterways are open all year:

  • Lakes – Hood, Middleton, Ruataniwha, Wairepo Arm, Tekapo/Takapō, Pūkaki, Ōhau, Benmore, Aviemore and Waitaki.
  • Canals – Rangitata Diversion Race, Ōhau (A, B & C), Pūkaki, Tekapo – downstream of SH8 Bridge only.


 Restricted “winter seasons”

The following rivers have a 3-month “winter season”, 1 June to 31 August, downstream of their respective State Highway 1 Bridges:

  • Ashburton, Rangitata/ Rakitata, Opihi, and Waitaki. 
  • Lake Alexandrina has a 2-month “winter season”, 1 June to 31 July.
Restricted “shoulder seasons”

These waterways have unique fishing seasons.

  • Lake Camp – remains open until 31 May.
  • Tekapo Canal, upstream of its State Highway 8 Bridge – remains open until 31 May, re-opens 1 September.
  • Upper Ōhau River controlled fishery – to be advised via the Fish & Game website following the May 2024 meeting of the Central South Island Fish & Game Council.


Notice Board


Upcoming vacancy - Fish & Game Officer / Ecologist

Keep an eye on Seek.co.nz as we are soon to advertise for a Temuka-based Fish & Game Officer / Ecologist.


Tight Lines,

Rhys Adams, Central South Island Fish & Game Officer.




Get one last fish before the season ends

The fishing season ends for the majority of the rivers.

With this weekend being a long weekend for some of us who managed to get Friday off work, this is an excellent opportunity to get one last fish before the season ends for the majority of our rivers and lakes, which is April 30th.

The weather forecast for this weekend is looking good for the high country, with Saturday looking to be the pick of the days as it has the less wind forecasted.

I would recommend getting the boat out onto our lakes that allow motorised boats and troll some lures, as this is a great social way of fishing with friends and family.

On the sea-run salmon front, a northwest front comes through on Thursday and into Friday morning. This might discolour our salmon rivers over the weekend; however, if you want to fish our designated waters one last time before the season ends, then these should remain clear and fishable.

They generally clear up quickly after a fresh and these fish should be actively feeding a lot longer as they are focusing on putting on as much condition as possible before spawning.

For those that are staying local over the weekend, we are holding a fishing competition this Friday, the 26th of April, to celebrate the end of the sea-run salmon season. Details about the competition are below.


2024 Rangers competition - This Friday

Celebrate the end of the sea-run salmon season with Fish & Game staff, honorary rangers and fellow anglers at the 2024 Rangers Competition!

When & Where

  • Friday 26th April
  • Kairaki Beach (North side of the Waimakariri River mouth)
  • There are toilet facilities in the carpark area.

How to enter

  • No pre-registration is required; just start fishing!
  • If you catch a salmon, come to the weigh-in station at the Fish & Game tent by 1:00 pm to weigh it in! You must show your 23/24 season fishing licence AND your filled-in sea-run salmon licence when entering a fish (We will not accept any entries without these two licences being shown).
  • If you don’t have any luck on the day, you can still present your licence at the Fish & Game tent any time before 1:00 pm to go into the spot prize draw! 

Fishing & Weigh-in

  • Fishing may commence at 5:00 am as per North Canterbury fishing regulations
  • Fish must be caught between the Waimakariri Mouth and the Kairaki Yacht Club at Kairaki Creek on the north side only (area highlighted in red below)
  • Weigh-ins from 8:00 am – 1:00 pm at the Fish & Game tent on the beach (can’t miss it!)
  • Prizegiving to follow at 1:30 pm
  • The competition will be held rain or shine!



  • The angler with the heaviest salmon on the day will be immortalised with their name engraved on the coveted Rangers Trophy.
  • We will also award the Jack Kerapa Memorial trophy for “Rangers Fisherman of the Year”.
  • We also have a great range of spot prizes kindly donated by North Canterbury Hunting & Fishing, Christchurch (Ballingers) Hunting & Fishing, Amazing Baits, Desolve, Hunters Element, and more!
  • For any further queries, please email ncevent@fishandgame.org.nz or call the office at (03) 366 9191.

Last fishing report

This is our last fishing report for the 23/24 season, so we would like to thank all the anglers for reading and providing us with content for our weekly fishing reports.

We will start these weekly reports again in late September for the 24/25 season, and remember there are still plenty of winter fishing opportunities. I highly recommend exploring new areas and trying new techniques and methods.

We would like to see great photos of your winter fishing experience this winter if you’re up to braving it out in the cold!


Tight Lines,

Harry Graham-Samson, North Canterbury Fish & Game Officer.

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