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Bumper Start To The Salmon Season

6 December 2012

Media Release

Bumper Start To The Salmon Season

Only a few weeks into the salmon season and it is already proving to be a record breaker along the South Island’s east coast fisheries.

November saw 80 Salmon caught on the south side of the Rangitata River mouth, the most since 1999 - with the top weight landed of 24.5lb (11kg).

“We normally get a few running early in the season, but this has been the best start to a season in years.” says Fish & Game Central South Island field officer Mark Webb. And just six days into December there have already been 81 caught.

When asked how you predict if it would be a good season, Webb replies: “No idea, no-one can predict how the salmon season will go, anyone who tries is a fool… I’ve tried many times.”

However, he does add the Rangitata River is within a good flow band of 100-110 cumecs, meaning a good clarity for angling, with the water only slightly discoloured.

From the Rangitata River to the Waimakariri, all coastal river mouths have reported an early run of salmon, and it is not just the number caught but also the superb condition of the fish which is causing a buzz amongst local anglers.

“A number of those caught have been in the mid-20s(lb), which indicates they have had a good food source in the open ocean,” explains Steve Terry, North Canterbury Fish & Game officer. Terry landed a 16 and 19lb salmon only yesterday morning.

“Given the size of the salmon, they are probably three to four years old* which may also indicate there has been a good survival rate.”

The Nor-west weather flow over the region in the last couple of days will put a temporary halt on the angling and it will potentially be late next week before the rivers are fishable again .

*A salmon’s age is determined at its time of death, which is traditionally May/June.

ENDS

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