Fishery report: June 2014 update

Local Didymo Dave working at the Te Whaiau trap
Local enviro warrior Dave Cade monitoring trout at the Te Whaiau Fish Trap

River fishing

The catch rate on the Tongariro during June was estimated at 0.18 fish per hour (1 legal sized fish every 5.5 hours) which is up slightly on the 0.16 fish per hour estimated for last month. Catch rates can be low early in the season and it is not until July that the catch rate significantly improves as we progress through winter towards the main runs of spring.

Rainbow trout caught on the Tongariro averaged 515mm and 1.4kg (3lb). These fish are on average 21mm longer and 150g lighter than those measured during the same period last year. The heaviest rainbow trout weighed by staff during June this year on the Tongariro was a female measuring 600mm and weighing 2.2kg (4.8lbs).  Rainbows caught on the nearby Tauranga Taupo River averaged 500mm and 1.3kg.  

Waipa Stream fish trap

The Waipa Stream fish trap is situated in a tributary of the Tongariro near Rangipo.  The Waipa trap was installed during early June for the 17th consecutive season and successfully trapped a total of 153 browns and 60 rainbows. This is similar to the 168 browns and 78 rainbows trapped during June 2013.

The browns trapped this year averaged 578mm and 2.3kg (5lb) with an average condition factor of 43. The heaviest brown weighed was a female measuring 650mm and weighing 4kg (8.8lbs) spawning for at least the fourth time. These browns are on average 16mm shorter and 220g lighter than those trapped during the same period last year.

The rainbows averaged 496mm and 1.35kg with an average condition of 40. The heaviest rainbow weighed was a hen measuring 560mm and weighing 2.0kg.  These fish are of a similar length to those trapped during June last year but are on average 100g lighter so far this season. With the wet and cold weather finally here, the runs of fresh rainbows through the trap should continue into July with the main runs arriving from August onwards.

Te Whaiau & Papakai fish traps

The Te Whaiau fish trap was also installed for another season in early June with close to 900 spawning fish passing through. This is down slightly on the 1,000 trout trapped during the same period last year but a small flood did occur this year and so some fish may have been missed when the trap was not fully operating in the higher flows. Overall, the run of rainbows was up this year by 138 fish while the brown trout run was down by 248 fish.

Rainbow trout dominated this month’s run accounting for over 80% of the total run trapped. Rainbows averaged 559mm and 2.2kg with an overall condition factor of 45.3. The heaviest rainbow trapped was a male measuring 660mm and weighing 3.65kg (8lb) with a condition factor of 46 that was spawning for the first time this year. The 154 browns trapped averaged 542mm and 1.95kg with an overall condition factor of 43.8. The heaviest brown trapped was an older female measuring 665mm and weighing 3.5kg (7.7lbs).

The neighbouring Papakai fish trap recorded 107 fish during June, 82 of which were browns. This is down slightly on the 139 trout recorded during the same period last year which was also dominated by browns. Browns trapped this year averaged 579mm and 2.2kg with an overall condition factor of 40.6. The heaviest brown was an old female measuring 765mm and weighing an impressive 6.2kg (13.6lbs).

The 25 rainbows trapped in this smaller stream averaged 552mm and 2.05kg with an overall condition factor of 43.5. The heaviest rainbow trapped was a female measuring 635mm and weighing 2.85kg (6.3lbs). It is still early days but there have already been some encouraging signs for the fishing at Lake Otamangakau next summer.

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