Wellington Weekly Report - 16 January 2020

  • Wellington
  • 16/01/2020
  • Wellington

Wellington Weekly Report - 16 January 2020

Happy New Year and welcome back to what's proving to be a great fishing season for the lower North Island.

While there have been reports of "patchy" angling in the Manawatu and its main tribs, the Hutt, Wairarapa and central high country rivers have been on fire with some excellent catches recorded in all these catchments over the main holiday period! 

Perhaps the cooler temperatures are playing a part in keeping the fish active; maybe the reasonable summer river flows are also contributing to the good angling.

Whatever the reason, don't miss out on the action. There are months of the best fishing still to come, so get your licence and go get a slice of the action.

And what better time to kick of you angling season (if you haven't already) than this long Wellington Anniversary weekend?

With the rain early in the week providing a welcome recharge to the river, the fisheries will be back to normal flows by tomorrow and the trout will be back on the bite for three days of hot angling action! 

Pictured caption: Great family fishing fun at Lake Wairarapa during the school holidays (Credit Hamish Carnachan)

Here's the outlook:

Hutt River and tributaries


Click here for live weather updates.

The good pulse of rain on Monday is flowing out quickly and conditions will be back to normal on the Hutt River and tributaries for a fine long weekend of angling. Plenty of time and some great angling on offer in this part of the region at the moment.              


Kapiti Coast


Click here for live weather updates.

The extra flow from Monday's rain dump recharge has already flowed through the Kapiti Coast river systems. The WaikanaeOhau and Otaki will all be fresh and the fish will have welcomed the respite from the low flow conditions. Combine this with some lovely weather conditions over the long weekend and you've got great angling opportunities.       




Click here for live weather updates.

The Ruamahanga is carry a touch of much-needed extra at present but falling back to summer low levels as we write. The WaiohineWaingawa and Tauherenikau have already cleared Monday's rain and while they are returning to dire low levels on the plains, the gorge and Forest Park sections will see plenty of fish seeking refuge.                 




Click here for live weather updates.     

We've had reports of pretty patchy angling on the Manawatu and tribs (the Pohangina and Oroua) over the holiday break. Other feeder rivers, such as the Mangatainoka, however have continued the fine run of angling experienced before Christmas. Hopefully Monday's weather system will have revitalized the catchment. The weather looks good and with an extra day off on Monday there's plenty of opportunity for exploring.   




Click here for live weather updates.

The Rangitikei has been firing through the easily-accessible mid-reaches with really good numbers of medium-sized rainbows eagerly taking dries on fine settled days. Those are exactly the conditions forecast for the coming long weekend so be sure to get amongst the action while it's running hot. 

Tip of the Week - Handle With Care 

IMG 4565a CopyIf you're taking a photo, get the fish back into the water as quickly as possible (Copyright Hamish Carnachan).   

With the summer fishing season well underway, anglers are reminded to pay attention to how to properly look after trout they catch, particularly if they plan to release them.

We've produced videos along with pages on our website to inform anglers on the best way to handle trout they have caught.

Proper handling of trout is a good way to ensure a trout is fit for the table or survive if released.

Our top tips are as follows: 

What to do

Use the heaviest line you can get away with. Too light a line means you will have to fight the fish for longer and that takes a toll – an exhausted fish has much less chance of surviving.

Use a single hook and consider trying barbless hooks.

Aim to land your fish quickly. Modern reels have great drags, so make the most of these and the rod’s leverage to get the trout close enough to net.

Use a net to land your fish, preferably a knotless one. 

Keep the trout in the net and in the water while releasing it.

Unhook the fish gently, preferably with long nosed pliers.

Work quickly and avoid touching the fish at all.

If you want a photo, make it quick and get the fish back into the water without delay. Wet and cool your hands before handling the fish and consider using gloves. Ideally, take the photo of the fish still in the water.

If you have to hold the fish, do it gently with one hand around the tail and the other carefully cradling the fish.

Keep your hands, hooks and anything else away from the trout’s gills.

What Not to Do

Don’t drag the fish onto shore and leave it flapping around on hot rocks, beating itself up on the unforgiving shore. This is a death sentence.

The same goes for boat anglers – a hot deck will kill a trout.

Don’t touch the trout’s gills. If your fish is bleeding from the gills, kill it as studies have shown that they won’t survive to see another dawn.

Don’t squeeze the fish, especially around its belly.

Don’t keep the trout out of water any longer than necessary. Remember, fish don’t breathe any better in air than we do underwater.

Don’t use treble hooks, especially the double sets found on some lures. Replace them with a single hook which works just as well and makes it much easier to release fish.

Don’t bring up fish from deep water too quickly when lake fishing from boats.

By Fish & Game field officers Hamish Carnachan. 



Click the map below to go to Horizon's website showing the list of available river webcams.


Notice board

  • The Otaki Kids Fishing Day is being held will be held on Saturday, February 8. Registrations are essential and can be made through Otaki Hunting and Fishing by email, or calling (06)364-8969. 
  • Anglers wanting to fish the Rangitikei backcountry must have a licence endorsement for this fishery. Click here to find out more. Or purchase your backcountry endorsement.   
  • Fishing regulations changes for the Wellington Fish & Game Region in 2019-2020 might affect you. Find out about the changes here.  
  • Don't get a nasty surprise by Greater Wellington Regional Council's river bulldozing ruining your day on the river. Check out the latest schedule of activity here.  
  • Flushing flows from the Moawhango Dam, which will cause the rivers downstream (including the Rangitikei) to rise, will be conducted on the following dates: 

Release from Dam 9:00pm Tuesday 28 January 2020 – 5 hours
Release from Dam 9:00pm Tuesday 18 February 2020 – 5 hours
Release from Dam 9:00pm Tuesday 17 March 2020 – 5 hours
Release from Dam 9:00pm Tuesday 28 April 2020 – 5 hours (subject to monitoring triggers being met)

More info here

 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 - For your safety please ensure you check the latest weather and river flow information before you head out on the water.


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