Home' Fish and Game : August 2015 Contents Otago Region
IF YOU ARE ONE OF OTAGO’S 15,000 RESI-
dent adult wholeseason fishing or hunting li-
cenceholders, then you need to be aware of the up-
coming triennial election for Otago Fish & Game
Election day is Friday, October 9, 2015, but tak-
ing part as either a voter or as a candidate requires
much earlier involvement. By the time you receive
this magazine, the election process will be well un-
derway -- it was officially kicked off with a public
notice in early August calling for candidate nomi-
nations and voter enrolments. See the Otago sec-
tion of the Fish & Game web pages for more details,
including important deadlines.
Otago Council is responsible under the Conser-
vation Act for managing trout and salmon fisheries
and game bird populations within the region and
your licence fees fund important work on manag-
ing species, protecting habitats (rivers, lakes, and
wetlands), and improving public access.
The government delegated sports fish and game
bird management to local Councils protecting hab-
itats such as rivers, lakes and wetlands and improv-
ing public access over 150 years ago and the regime,
with minor modifications, is still going strong.
You can take part by registering as a voter (it’s as
simple as phoning the election hotline) and voting.
Or you could stand as a candidate for one of the 12
Council positions. Don’t let your democratic right
slip past. Get involved!
N THE CENTRAL OTAGO HIGH COUNTRY
lie two reservoirs that are highly valued ‘Dam
Good Fisheries’ by local and regional anglers
alike. Poolburn and Upper Manorburn Dams are
only 11km apart, however they are completely
different fisheries, offering their own unique
angling experiences. Manorburn is solely a rain-
bow trout fishery and Poolburn has only browns.
Both fisheries are self-sustaining and do not
require additional stocking.
In recent years, anglers have been surveyed on
the opening days to better understand the health
of each fishery, gauge angler satisfaction, and
Compliance rate remains high
Last season was again an excellent one with better than
95% of anglers fully compliant with licensing and regula-
tions. As always, there are one or two who flout the rules,
but it is very uncommon that we find a repeat offender.
One slow learner, who was apprehended on Lake Wanaka
fishing without a licence, was prosecuted for the same of-
fence two years ago. His memory may also be fading as
he gave the same lame excuse for not holding a licence
Regulation Changes for 2015-16 season
There are no regulation changes for the current season.
However, this season we will be looking for feedback from
anglers and groups to contribute to an area wide review of
the regulations. The last major review was done in 2010.
Keep an eye on the website for more information or talk
to one of your local Fish & Game councilors if you have
specific regulations issues to address.
Economic evaluation of Otago sports fishery
Leon Jiang, a master’s student at University of Otago,
completed an economic evaluation of Otago sport fisheries
last year and the results demonstrate the terrific value of
our angling resource. Analysis of the online survey, which
used the travel cost method, estimated the average ‘con-
sumer surplus’ (the dollar value after all costs removed)
at between $63.7 million to $189 million per annum. Not
surprisingly, the southern lakes area of the region contrib-
uted to around half of the total. A full copy of the report is
available in the Otago Fish & Game web pages.
TWO CENTRAL OTAGO
DAM GOOD FISHERIES
Poolburn and Upper Manorburn Dams are great fisheries for both adult and junior anglers
A local junior angler with a plump early
season brown trout hen from Poolburn Dam
THE FUTURE HEALTH OF THE POMAHAKA AND
Waipahi rivers received a boost on June 1,
2015, with the Otago Regional Council approving a
minimum flow for the catchment of 3.6 cumecs dur-
ing summer, and 7 cumecs during winter. The mini-
mum flow means that irrigation takes have to stop
once its flow reaches those levels. There also won’t
be any new primary water takes in the catchment,
as it’s now over-allocated. Anyone wanting to har-
vest water at high flows has to wait until the river is
at 13 cumecs before they can begin to store water.
The minimum flow regime was well supported by
stakeholders and the community. For anglers who
fish these rivers, the news couldn’t be better. Having
approved minimum flows means that trout habitat
will be protected, particularly in the summer months
when irrigation demands are highest.
The biggest issue facing the catchment is water
quality and there are some excellent farmer-led
initiatives currently underway that deserve support
from both anglers and hunters.
Fish & Game is awaiting the outcome of the
recently-held hearings to determine a minimum flow
and allocation regime on the Waiwera River.
So far, the signs are that a minimum flow of at
least 260 litres per second will be recommended for
monitor trends in angler use.
Opening day at Poolburn is very much a tradi-
tion for hut owners and local anglers. The reservoir
regularly produces large fish over 500mm and they
are renowned for their excellent eating qualities.
Catch rates are typical for a brown trout fishery
and have been recorded at one fish for just over
an hour’s angling. Bait fishing is the most popular
method, with trolling very successful for anglers
who know the area. The reservoir has a minefield
of rocky outcrops that often lie just below the sur-
face and require careful navigation when boating.
Manorburn Dam regularly attracts upwards of
100 anglers, with both boat and shore anglers
sharing the catch. Fish are generally easy to catch
with catch rates recorded at over one fish for an
hour’s angling (which is well above average by
comparison with other fisheries in the region).
The average fish weight recorded over the past
three seasons is just under 1kg, however they are
feisty specimens and put up a good fight on light
These two fisheries nestled in central Otago
have outstanding landscape values and, if you
enjoy stillwater fishing, then they are well worth
Wins on South Otago
Otago Fish & Game
Council Election 2015
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