Rotorua anglers count down to summer fishing

Anglers are counting down to the opening of several Rotorua streams for summer fishing.

The Rotorua waterways which open on December 1 include the upper Ngongotaha, Utuhina and Waiteti streams.

In a move to simplify the rules and encourage spin fishing, this method will now be permitted in the Utuhina Stream, between Devon St bridge and Pukehangi Rd bridge, from December 1. The upper section of the Ngongotaha remains fly fishing only.

Eastern Region Fish and Game officer Matt Osborne said it was one of the changes to the regulations to encourage more novices and "youngsters" into the sport.

Mr Osborne said the streams had been closed from the end of June through winter and spring because they were

important trout spawning tributaries.

"We don't want the stream beds disturbed or trout redds (nests) trodden on,'' he said.

"We've seen trout in healthy numbers in the last few weeks while we've been out doing maintenance on access tracks. Some big browns also start to head up the streams in November and December as Lake Rotorua warms and they seek out cooler water.''

Mr Osborne said the brown trout were hungry predators and targeted large food items including trout fry.

"This lends itself to successful spinning, as spinning lures simulate small swimming fish,'' he said.

"As the water temperatures in the lakes rises, the brown trout start hanging around the stream mouths before pushing up them. Anglers who fish the stream mouths at night over the next few weeks should be able to target them successfully. After dark the browns become more aggressive, going on the prowl for food.''

Mr Osborne said more experienced anglers also turned out to fly fish these streams from early December, using their knowledge of what summer insects the trout were feeding on.

He said Fish and Game had taken the usual seasonal steps to ensure easy access to fishing spots along the streams and rivers.

"This includes the grooming of tracks leading to the Ngongotaha and Waiteti streams, and spraying for blackberry and gorse.''

Mr Osborne said with the changes to spin fishing regulations in particular, anglers were being urged to check their

Sport Fishing Regulations 2012-2013.

"It is also very important that anglers follow the `Check, Clean and Dry' practice to prevent the spread of aquatic pests such as didymo when moving between fishing waters.''

He said rangers would be on patrol along the streams from opening day, making sure anglers were carrying trout fishing licences and sticking to other rules.


- Rotorua Daily Post

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