Anglers are being urged to get into some “terrific” fishing on the Rotorua lakes – after reports of excellent catches and record spawning runs underway.
Trout spawning runs are continuing apace - Fish & Game staff monitor them by trapping fish that swim up streams entering lakes Tarawera and Rotorua.
The finest fish trapped are kept aside for Fish & Game’s hatchery breeding programme.
Fish & Game Officer Matt Osborne says they’re seeing the highest spawning run they’ve measured on Tarawera since 2009.
“We’ve just hit a total of just under 1400 trapped so far and the trout are in great shape in terms of condition, giving us plenty of choice to select breeding fish for the hatchery,” he says.
Matt Osborne says that staff have been pleasantly surprised by the quality of the fish coming through.
“The trout’s preferred food, a small silvery fish called smelt had a successful spring breeding event on Lake Tarawera, and this has translated into well-conditioned trout during autumn and into winter.”
Mr Osborne says that this is a complete turnaround on Lake Tarawera from when the current season began on 1 October and the fish were in poor condition.
“It’s very pleasing to see this change for the moment at least,” he says.
The biggest fish trapped so far has been a solid four-year-old weighing 3.65kg and measuring just under 70 cm.
Mr Osborne says that angler reports indicate that a number of similar fish have been landed at spots including Waitangi and The Landing on Lake Tarawera, and the catch rate out on the lake has been very good.
“Other lakes are also producing quality fish - a 12 pound plus trout came off Lake Rotoma a week or two ago for example,” he adds.
He says anglers are urged to take advantage of the favourable conditions before lakes Tarawera, Rotoiti and Okataina close to boat fishing for winter so they can recover from the fishing pressure.
Some shore-based angling remains available at specific locations however on these three lakes from 1 July until 30 September 2018 – before the lake is fully re-opened on October 1 when a new season kicks off again.
Other prime spots that are about to close include the Ohau Channel and the upper sections of the Ngongotaha, Waiteti and Utuhina streams.
Mr Osborne says that spin fishing from the shore, where permitted, can be productive at this time of year as many of the bigger fish look to spawn in the shallows.
The stream mouths on Lake Rotorua are also a good place to try, especially the Ngongotaha and Waiteti mouths which will continue to attract fresh runs of spawning trout after rain.
Fish & Game says that for any other up to the minute information on other spots and angling opportunities, anglers are welcome to contact the office on: 07-3575501.
Lakes Rotoiti, Tarawera and Okataina will close to all boat fishing after June 30, but remain open to fishing from the designated winter shoreline areas.
The Ohau Channel and upper section of the Ngongotaha above SH5, plus the Utuhina stream above Devon Street will all close to fishing from the end of June.
To check the regulations for other areas: http://http://eastern.fishandgame.org.nz/eastern-fishing-regulations
For more information:
Fish & Game Officer Matt Osborne
Tel 07-375 5501 (ext. 814)
Mob 021-375 275