Disturbing news came to me via an email just before I was due to write this column, which will seriously impact on trout and salmon angling in New Zealand.
An amendment to the Conservation Act has been put to Parliament, without any consultation with Fish & Game, which will allow for trout and salmon to be removed from particular rivers and lakes, even if they are significant trout and salmon fisheries.
Trout and salmon could also become part of the Treaty of Waitangi settlements with iwi and the bill opens the door to allowing the sale of trout.
The lack of consultation with Fish & Game over this bill is a serious slap in the face for an entity that manages trout and salmon in New Zealand.
An entity that evolved from our forebears who had the foresight to create equality, in that there was to be no private fishing, and set up a system that allowed anyone who purchased a licence to fish to be able to do so without having to fork out hugely unrealistic sums of money as anglers have to do in England and Europe.
The fact that New Zealand brings in millions of dollars due to our reputation as having some of the most pristine waters in the world and some of the purest strains of trout and salmon anywhere is a tribute to Fish & Game as well as anglers throughout the country who have planted thousands of trees and shrubs along rivers and streams in an effort to retain the water quality that is needed not only for trout, but also for our native species.
The amendment is a pseudo cover to change an effective management system, that is often a thorn in the side of Government, by saying that out native species are so under threat, trout and salmon will need to be removed from 'particular' areas in order to preserve these fish.
I am all for the preservation of our native species, but, as we know, there are other reasons for the decline in our native species and I know that trout and salmon and fishing do not degrade the waterways like other activities do.
Log on to fishandgame.org for more details.
With only just over one week to go I am looking forward to experiencing the opening of the 2018/19 Trout Fishing Season and have the Ohau Channel in mind for a very good reason. It seems the last lot of bad weather caused a lot of interest in the lower Ngongotaha Stream as some of the rainbows being caught from there were way outside the usual size range.
A number of rainbows were caught up to and over the trophy mark of 4.5kg.
All fish were in great condition and there were large numbers of them. The suspicion is that these fish were Rotoiti fish, though without seeing any of them it is hard to prove.
Rotoiti hatchery fish will all be fin clipped, whereas Rotorua fish are not.
If they did come through the Ohau Channel I suspect there will be some very good quality fish spawning there, though only time will tell.