Just a few more sleeps and it's here! The Opening of the 2017/18 fishing season is upon us finally.
Anglers are eagerly looking forward to fishing streams and lakes that have been closed for several months and have trout that haven't seen a lure of fly during that time.
Early in the new season many of the trout in the lakes will be feeding over the weed beds where there is plenty of food available. Smelt and trout fry along with many insects that are preparing to hatch are near the top of the weed beds and are relatively easy prey for trout.
Early mornings are best in the shallower water where aquatic weeds flourish and some of our lakes have some seriously environmentally damaging aquatic weeds, so check your gear, boats and trailers before entering, leaving or moving to another lake to help stop the spread of these invasive species.
Pest fish can also be spread inadvertently by boat trailers and one fish, in particular, is very hardy and can survive long periods of time out of the water. Brown bullhead cat fish can survive in a cool dark place, such as a boat trailer frame, for many days as I have seen them still alive and kicking after being in a plastic bag in a refrigerator for nearly two weeks.
Other invasive fish species can also be transferred from one waterway to another as well and koi carp, found in the Waikato River system as far upstream as Lake Whakamaru, are, geographically, not that far away from us here in Rotorua.
Both of these species are relatively easy to spot in the spring, but there are other pests that are not easily seen until they are a major problem in a waterway, such as algae.
Check, clean, dry is the only method to use to be sure that these pests are not moved from place to place. On the positive side, it is great to hear about the movement to reduce erosion on the Waiteti Stream that enters Lake Rotorua.
This stream is typical as it is fast and furious in places upstream but as it nears the lake, it slows dramatically, allowing fine sediment to drop out and settle. Over the centuries, floods have deposited layers of sediment, and the stream bed has moved, as it does, scouring out a new bed by eroding its banks.
Keeping a stream within boundaries that we set is a challenge, but one worth pursuing, particularly in this case, as the amount of sediment being delivered to the Lake Rotorua lake bed is significant, especially after a major flood.
The water quality will improve as more planting is done, especially further upstream, and will benefit all who use or live around Lake Rotorua.
The Utuhina is another stream that has people starting to look after it and the more people that join in, the quicker we will see positive results for the region. I, for one, am all for these proactive and positive drives to improve our rivers and streams.