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Reel in ‘The Big One’ at the Trout Season Opening in Rotorua

Reel in ‘The Big One’ at the Trout Season Opening in Rotorua

ROTORUA, Monday 30th September 2013: Hundreds of anglers are about to descend on New Zealand’s trout-fishing mecca, Rotorua, and hopes are high that a new trout release strategy will see bigger and more abundant fish than ever before.

Destination Rotorua Marketing (DRM) general manager Oscar Nathan says anglers are predicted to enjoy superb catch rates on Rotorua’s three big ‘trophy lakes’ – Tarawera, Rotoiti and Okataina – when the trout season opens tomorrow Tuesday, October 1st.

These lakes have been rested for the past three months but this year a new trout release strategy should significantly boost trout numbers.

Rainbow trout raised in Fish & Game’s Rotorua hatchery are normally released into the lakes in May (autumn) and September (spring). But recent research showed that cold water temperatures were affecting the young trout’s survival.

“Fish & Game learnt that seasonal conditions make a difference – if colder winter weather comes earlier than expected during May, or is delayed into September, there can be dire consequences for newly released trout,” says Nathan.

So last year’s spring releases of hatchery-bred rainbow trout were spread over a four-month period instead, with the success of the initiative due to be revealed this week.

“The expectation is that more fish will have survived during the warmer months, so anglers will be able to catch more trout than normal, and the size of each fish should also be better-than-average thanks to more favourable growing conditions,” Nathan says.

Fish & Game staff will be on hand to compare trout size to previous seasons and are expecting a big turnout on Lake Tarawera next week – the traditional hub of opening day activities where an armada of boats take to the water at daybreak.

This year’s season opening also coincides with the beginning of the school holidays. “It’s the perfect opportunity to get out on the water with the kids and create some lasting memories,” Nathan says.

Festivities begin tonight with a Scottish tradition of the Piping of the Haggis – where bag pipers formally accompany a platter of haggis – and a boat blessing ceremony at The Landing on the shores of Lake Tarawera.

“Rotorua is renowned for its magnificent lakes and abundant fish. You couldn’t get a more picture-perfect location for fishing if you tried, and that’s why the city has built up a reputation as a world-class trout fishing destination,” Nathan says.

Thirteen of Rotorua’s 18 lakes are fishable, and anglers come from all over the world to experience fishing in this piece of paradise. The ‘trophy lakes’ of Tarawera, Okataina and Rotoiti can all produce fish of prize-winning proportions. But some of the smaller lakes with their own more secluded charm, including Rotoma, Rotomahana and Rerewhakaaitu, can also surprise.

Fish & Game manager Rob Pitkethley says Lake Rotorua (which remains open year-round), is producing some excellent rainbow trout. “Fish in the two-to-three kilo range have been caught recently – a size which hasn’t been seen for three or four years,” he says.

“Rotorua is a fantastic place to come and unwind with a fishing rod in hand. And with our new trout release strategy now underway we expect this will be the best opening day yet.”

For more information about trout fishing in Rotorua visit the following blog on Destination Rotorua Marketing’s web site: http://www.rotoruanz.com/Visit/Blogs/


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