It was slim pickings for Greymouth whitebaiter Peter Almond on the Grey River this morning.

He and legions of other West Coast fishermen were out at first light to welcome the opening of the 2016 season, which dawned fine and calm.

Fishing above the town's Cobden Bridge, Almond said he had caught enough for two patties.

"It's a bit scarce - hope it's not like last year and scarce all season," he said, laughing.

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A few dozen whitebaiters lined the banks of the Grey River hoping for a good catch, while in Hokitika a smattering of people fished the morning tide with a few good shoals seen.

- Greymouth Star