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Solid start to trout season despite weather

Solid start to trout season despite weather

Wellington anglers yesterday hit the region’s rivers in their droves for Opening Day of the new fishing season – and there are already high hopes of a productive season ahead with plenty of fish around – many already in top condition.

Going by ranger contacts, it’s estimated that hundreds of fisher-folk turned out for the start of the 2015-16 trout season despite less than ideal weather later in the day.

Wellington Fish & Game manager Phil Teal says it was a classic case of the early birds catching the fish.

“Opening morning dawned clear and calm across much of the region and the ranging teams certainly noticed that anglers who were on the water early got into some fine fishing and good catches ahead of the rain arriving later on.

“Our rangers say at least half of those anglers whose licences were checked on the day had got into fish; some reported being surprised by the size and condition of the brown trout so early in the season.

“That’s a really encouraging sign,” says Mr Teal. “Usually the fish take a few months to get back into peak shape after spawning [in winter].

“If the fish are doing well at this time of year it means they’ve had ideal conditions to build up body weight quickly and this bodes well for some big trout as the season progresses.”

Sea-run brown trout – like little fat silver salmon – were amongst the catch yesterday with good numbers being caught in the lower and mid reaches of the Ruamahanga River.

“These are some of the best eating fish you can get, so we had some pretty happy anglers on our hands yesterday,” says Mr Teal.

Meanwhile, compliance levels were excellent on Opening Day with all anglers licenced and abiding by the regulations.

“Everyone checked yesterday was licenced correctly despite the new range of licence options and all the different choices provided.

“It was good to see long-time anglers taking up the new Loyal Senior Licence [discounted] licence and non-residents also fishing under the correct authorisation.

“Rangers reported numerous parents out fishing with their kids yesterday, as well as young anglers enjoying their own fishing adventures – What better school holiday boredom buster could you find for the kids?”

The heavy rain that fall across much of the region will have put a dampener on the fishing over the next few days. However, anglers will struggle to find better conditions than those forecast for next week – calm, sunny and clear with falling river levels.

ENDS

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