Home' Fish and Game : September 2016 Contents Southland Region
IN SOME FISHERIES ANGLER USE HAS INCREASED BY 32% OVER THE LAST 20 YEARS
FISH & GAME IS FIGHTING TO PRESERVE THE ANGLING
AMENITY VALUES OF THE OUTSTANDING ORETI RIVER
BY COHEN STEWART, FIELD OFFICER
VERY SEVEN YEARS, THE NEW ZEALAND FISH
& Game Council commissions a National An-
gler Survey. The survey involves random tel-
ephone interviews of anglers to determine where and
how often they go fishing throughout the season.
The results of the survey provide estimates of total
angling effort for all lake and river fisheries managed by
Fish & Game. The results are invaluable for a number
of purposes, from resource consent hearings to Water
Conservation Order applications, and helps us under-
stand trends in angler use of waterways which contrib-
utes to the management of our fisheries.
In the most recent National Angler Survey, a notable
result is the significant rise in the popularity of South-
land’s lake fisheries. On Lake Te Anau for example, an-
gler use has increased by 32% over the last 20 years.
It is great to see that more anglers are getting out and
enjoying the great trout fishing and exploration oppor-
tunities that our Southern Lakes have to offer.
While there is no doubt that this is a significant in-
crease, lakes such as Te Anau and Manapouri still offer
wonderful opportunities to explore their various arms
and bays in a wilderness setting, with a fair chance
you’ll be the only boat around.
While there has been a notable increase in angler
use on some of our lakes, the National Angler Survey
has revealed that there are some streams and rivers
that anglers have all-but-forgotten. Perhaps most nota-
ble is the lower Mataura River. Some may be surprised
that the lower Mataura can be deemed a forgotten fish-
ery but, indeed, angling pressure on the lower Mataura
has declined significantly relative to 15 years ago. In fact,
fishing pressure on the lower Mataura is only 65% of
what it was in 2001.
Examples of less notable fisheries that appear to
have slipped under the angler’s radar include the Maka-
rewa River, Waimatuku Stream and Dunsdale Stream,
all of which are within 25 minutes’ drive from Invercar-
gill. Angler use of these rivers has decreased by 70, 83
and 94% respectively.
It is a shame that these fisheries are not getting the
use they got in yesteryear as they have the potential to
deliver some very exciting trout fishing. These forgot-
ten fisheries, the ones that we bypass whilst en-route
to other ‘better’ rivers or lakes, deserve more angling
Broaden your angling horizons and consider fishing
a forgotten fishery at least once this season. There is a
good chance you will have the stream to yourself, en-
counter some superb trout fishing and who knows, you
may even find a new favourite fishing spot.
SOUTHLAND’S FAVOURITE &
OST KEEN ANGLERS WILL BE AWARE
that we challenged the Southland
District Council’s consents that would
have allowed it to construct a cycle-way down
through the upper Oreti River Valley, the jewel in
Southland’s fishing crown.
The upper Oreti is covered by a Water
Conservation Order, which recognises its
nationally outstanding brown trout fishery and
angler amenity. Because of its status, and the
potential impact on those values if the cycle-way
is constructed, the New Zealand Fish & Game
Council has contributed funding to Southland’s
Environment Court battle.
Our expert witnesses have argued that an
alternative route down the parallel Mararoa Valley
would be as successful as down the Oreti, without
compromising the outstanding values of the Oreti.
Presentation of the evidence from expert
witnesses has now been completed and the
Judge and Commissioners are in the process of
considering their decision. As a consequence, I
am not able to give any detailed comment on the
case, because it is still before the Court. However,
I would like to extend Fish & Game’s gratitude to
those anglers who joined our case as ‘section 274’
parties and presented their own evidence of the
likely impact of the cycle-way on the valley that
they love so much.
ORETI CYCLE-WAY UPDATE
26/07/16 4:28 pm
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