SHARE
Tagged trout . . . Fish & Game officer Jayde Couper shows off a rainbow trout from the lower Waitaki River, which was tagged on its spawning run up the Hakataramea River. PHOTO: SUPPLIED

by Greta Yeoman

South Canterbury fishing fans may find tagged trout when the season begins next week, a Fish & Game representative says.

Central South Island Fish & Game Council officer Rhys Adams said the organisation had tagged hundreds of brown and rainbow trout in the lower Waitaki River fishery with yellow, numbered tags.

The trout fishing season will begin on Monday and the fishing organisation is hoping people who find fish with tags, near the dorsal fin, will report their findings to Fish & Game.

The organisation had tagged spawning trout in the Hakataramea River, which was considered an important location as a trout hatchery, Mr Adams said.

The details of caught tagged trout would help confirm the importance of maintaining the river as a hatchery, as well as letting Fish & Game know where the trout swam back to on the Waitaki River after leaving the spawning area.

“This information will enable Fish & Game to advocate for improved management of water use and trout and salmon habitat in the Lower Waitaki Catchment and to review the way we manage the Lower Waitaki trout fishery for licensed anglers.”

Mr Adams was also keen to remind anglers to buy licences for fishing before the season opened.

Season and one-day licences are available, and children under 12 would be able to fish for free, he said.

The organisation was also running a trout harvest survey at the Waitaki River through the season, which would enable staff to keep an eye on fish numbers in the river.

Other popular locations in South Canterbury for trout fishing included the Opihi River and the Waimea.

The high country areas would open in November.

The season would run until March 31 for salmon fishers and April 30 for trout.

Anglers who catch a tagged trout are asked to contact Central South Island Fish & Game on either (03) 615-8400 or email csi@fishandgame.org.nz. Include the tag number, catch date and location, whether it was kept or released, length and weight. For licence details, visit fishandgame.org.nz/licences/fishing-licence-info.