Good fishing in spite of tricky conditions
November has been cold with windy conditions and plenty of rain across the region.
The eastern lowland has been affected by flooding while on the other hand Central Otago, Maniatoto and North Otago farmers are relishing the growth with the best spring in decades.
Unsettled conditions have made it difficult for anglers but the fishing has remained good.
Above Right: Heidi Kendrick (aged 7) from Wanaka with her first trout from a recent trip to the Wilkin River with her parents.
Earlier in the month fishing competitions on Lake Dunstan and Lake Hawea returned some nicely-conditioned fish with many rainbows weighing between 2-3 kgs.
Browns returning after spawning were gradually picking up condition and salmon have turned up in big numbers in Lake Hawea.
Anglers have also been regularly catching salmon in front of the Clyde Dam.
Backcountry river opening
November 1 was the opening of Otago’s backcountry fisheries. Reports varied but generally the fishing was on a par with other seasons.
Angler encounters are on the increase so good angler etiquette will play a key role in ensuring that everyone gets a fair go during the season.
The Greenstone Controlled Fishery starts on February 1 and finishes on March 31. Details on the booking system can be found by clicking here
Take a kid fishing
Fish & Game Otago works actively with angling clubs to promote children’s fishing and two events during November were held at separate locations.
The Upper Clutha Angling Club took 20 children and parents to Lake Hawea for a day’s entertainment at the Neck and Kidds Bush.
Loaded onto nine boats, the children had a wonderful fishing experience with all boats catching fish.
Left: Otago Fish and Game Councillor Vicky Whyte releasing the first fish into the dam. From the Roxburgh kids, thanks Vicky!
Sixteen were caught on one boat alone!
Most were smallish landlocked salmon but plenty of trout were in the mix with the largest around 2kg.
The children were also entertained with some onshore activities and rewarded for their efforts with a range of prizes.
Further east the Teviot Anglers Club held their event at Remarkables Orchard near Roxburgh.
A few days earlier, Fish & Game staff released 200 two year-old rainbow trout into a dam on the orchard from their Macraes hatchery.
Around 60 children and their parents surrounded the dam and set about catching fish!
Otago Fish and Game councillor and organiser of the event, Vicky Whyte, was thrilled with the day and pleased to see the kids having a great time with smiles on their faces.
Fish & Game staff and rangers were on hand to assist junior anglers and provide advice.
A barbecue run by the club wrapped up a wonderful day.
For some magic photos click here
On November 19, 20 Otago and Southland Fish & Game staff, and rangers attended a training weekend at Cromwell.
Staff gave presentations from their regions to keep rangers up to date with current issues, and provided a training session to ensure rangers were well briefed for the season.
In the evening rangers were treated to a barbecue and cooking demonstration by celebrity game chef Angelo Georgalli who turned a couple of wild rainbow trout into superb meals.
Right: Celebrity game chef Angelo Georgalli with rangers Lex Coutts (left) and Steve Dixon (right) eager to sample the tasty delights.
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