Archives For fishing

“It’s a man’s world” – well that’s what most people think about the sport of fly fishing – but is it really true? Ranger Amelia Willis and her friend Evelien head to the Hinemaiaia River to find out.

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Lake Taupo. Trolling for trout. Mount Tongariro. Twilight… An apt image to usher in the 2015 Taupo fishing season, which begins today.

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Today’s photo of whitebaiters in the surf near Okarito River mouth during the 2006 season, reminds us that the 2014 whitebait season is about to get started.

Whitebaiting in the surf near Okarito River mouth, West Coast, New Zealand.

The season runs from 15 August until 30 November, except the West Coast of the South Island when it runs from 1 September until 14 November.

Whitebait are the juveniles of five native fish species from the galaxiid family and, while we want you to enjoy your fishing and your fritters, make sure you fish according to the regulations so that future generations can enjoy them too.

New Zealand’s largest and deepest marine reserve, along with our first whale sanctuary and our first seal sanctuary, came into effect on Friday.

Kaikōura with marine reserve in the background.

Kaikōura with marine reserve in the background.

Five new customary fishing areas, and more sustainable recreational fishing regulations, were also established.

Humpback whale. Photo: Ann McCaw.

Humpback whales pass through Kaikōura on their northern winter migration

The journey began nearly 10 years ago with the establishment of Te Korowai o Te Tai ō Marokura, a group of local people and agencies who recognised that Kaikōura’s magnificent and valuable marine environment was under pressure.

Hutton’s shearwater/tītī. Photo: Graeme A Taylor.

Hutton’s shearwater/tītī

A korowai is a chiefly cloak laid over something to protect and care for it.

The sanctuaries, marine reserve, and fisheries management tools established are each strands of an interwoven cloak that cares for the Kaikōura (Te Tai ō Marokura) Marine Management Area.

Dusky dolphins. Photo: Caroline Wilkins.

Large pods of dusky dolphins live in the vicinity of the Kaikōura Canyon

Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu Kaiwhakahaere, Chairman of Te Rūnanga o Kaikōura and Te Korowai member, Tā Mark Solomon says:

“The negotiations were long and hard, but for me the whole process was a beautiful expression of community. I think the whole of New Zealand could look at this as an example of how communities can come together to look after their resources for themselves and their children,” he says.

Dusk at Kaikoura. Photo: Katrin-Lena | flickr | CC BY-ND 2.0.

Dusk

Mā te whakapūmau i te mauri me te wairua o “Te Tai ō
Marokura”, ko mātou ngā kaitiaki o ngā taonga a Tangaroa
kei te arataki i te iwi hapori, ki te whakangaruru i te
momona me te waiora o te āhuatanga o te Taiao, mo ngā
whakatipuranga o aianei me ake tonu ake.

By perpetuating the mauri and wairua of Te Tai ō Marokura
we as kaitiaki of Tangaroa’s tāonga are leading the community to achieve a
flourishing, rich and healthy environment where opportunities
abound to sustain the needs of present and future generations.

(The vision of Te Korowai o Te Tai ō Marokura)

By Chrissy Wickes, Biodiversity Ranger, Te Anau

My partner, son and I recently went for a walk up to Fern Burn Hut along Motatapu Track which is out the back of Glendu Bay just twenty minutes drive from Wanaka.

Chrissy and her son walking through farm land.

The start of the track follows a river through farm land

The track starts in farm land and follows a lovely river all the way through beech forest and up to the tussock lands around the hut.

Chrissy's son playing in the mud.

Stopping for a quick play in the mud

It is a fantastic short walk and a great hut to stay in overnight. The track to the hut is the beginning of a longer walk. It took us three hours with my son Shannon walking the easier sections. The section through the bush is like a small goat track and perhaps not so suitable for a child to walk alone due to the drops into the stream below. But the track is relatively straight forward for big people.

There were heaps of fish in the stream and we came across a group fishing and they caught a lovely trout as we approached which was neat to see.

Chrissy and her son looking at the caught trout.

Fishing for trout

It is a hot area in the summer so I recommend hats and sunblock and avoiding the heat of the day.

We were lucky it was over cast but we still felt the heat and it is not even summer yet. The stream that the track follows is lovely with small waterfalls and pools which would be great to cool off in on those really hot days. We had a great time on this beautiful overnight walk in a stunning part of the country.

Walking along the track to Fern Burn Hut.

Nearing Fern Burn Hut


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by Anna McKnight, DOC Community Relations Ranger

The famous Trout Centre ‘fish outs’

The Tongariro National Trout Centre is world famous in the central North Island for its kid’s fish outs.

One on one time with volunteers crazy about fly fishing

Fishing for your first trout with a volunteer angler is a big part of local identity – you catch a trout at the children’s pond when you are young, and then grow up and go on to take your own children and grandchildren.

Kids fishing – an intergenerational affair

Tongariro Trout Centre Society president Rob Lester explains, “I think we are the luckiest volunteers when you see the delight on the children’s faces”.

There are seven fish outs a year that attract up to 200 children at a time and bring visitors in from out of town.

Local kids catch their first trout on kid’s fish out days

Tongariro Trout Centre Society

The Tongariro Trout Centre Society was incorporated in 2001 to develop, promote and expand the Tongariro National Trout Centre. In partnership with DOC and Genesis Energy, the Centre has become a place that not only promotes the Taupō Fishery, but is also a leading advocate for freshwater conservation.

Volunteers with Genesis Energy on sharing the river

History of the Tongariro Trout Centre

The land was originally gifted from the Downs family and in 1926 a trout hatchery was established. The site was chosen for the purity and temperature of the water from the Waihukahuka spring and stream—cool, clear and clean.

Blue Gold – interpreting the importance of freshwater

In 2003 the River Walk building was opened to help promote the Taupō Fishery.

The Taupō for Tomorrow education programme classroom was built in 2006 and named after the late kaumātua, Whakapumautanga Downs.

2011 saw the opening of the Genesis Energy Freshwater Aquarium where you can get an up-close and personal experience with many of our native species such as kōkopu and kōaro.

The visitor centre was also upgraded with interpretation that includes a 20 minute film and a series on freshwater conservation titled ‘Blue Gold’.

Whio/blue duck

Whio (blue duck) can now be seen from the grounds of the Tongariro Trout Centre due to a local collaborative effort on predator trapping. It has hosted Whio Family Day for the last three years.

More than a trout on the end of the line

It is exciting to see the Tongariro Trout Centre not only giving us the buzz of a trout on the end of our line, or even bringing us face to face with a kōkopu or whio for the first time, but leaving us with a deep understanding of the importance of clean freshwater for our future.

The children’s pond in action

Working together, in partnership with our volunteers, is fast tracking us towards our dreams and goals to preserve our freshwater for future generations.

The Tauranga DOC team have been all at sea lately – literally.  

Oscar the seal makes friends wherever he goes

DOC boat the 'Rewa' heads out to Tuhua Marine Reserve for a compliance check

Rangers Dan and Dave have been speaking at the local Bluewater Classic & One Base fishing competition briefings and regularly patrolling the Tuhua Marine Reserve to make sure that everyone knows where the marine reserve is and keeps their fishing rods out of it.  Dan is also making preparations for next week’s annual fish survey in the reserve with marine studies staff and students from the Bay of Plenty Polytech.  

Tuhua Marine Reserve is one of over 30 no-take marine reserves established around New Zealand to protect marine organisms and their habitats for future generations to come.  It’s a great place to dive or snorkel and enjoy some magical underwater scenery.  

Ranger Laura has been catching up with our local permitted dolphin watching operators to make sure they’re keeping the best interests of the dolphins at heart. Commercial operators can help to protect dolphins by giving people the opportunity to see, fall in love with and learn about them.  The permits we issue and monitor require operators to meet set conditions and follow the Marine Mammals Protection Regulations so that their impacts on the dolphins are minimised.  

All boaties can help to look after whales, dolphins and seals by making sure that they know and follow the rules.  The regulations include rules about safe boat speed, distance and angles of approach so that people can enjoy watching whales, dolphins and seals without causing them harm.  

Oscar in action at the Maketu Kaimoana Festival

Awhi helps a young fisherman to learn about marine reserve rules a size limits

Our Maori Cadet – Ranger Awhi & I took Oscar the seal to the Maketu Kaimoana Festival last weekend.  We use him to help us educate people  about marine reserves and marine mammal protection.  We also set up a fishing game so that kids (and their parents) could learn the no-fishing rule in marine reserves and practice measuring fish to check if they meet the Ministry of Fisheries size limits for recreational fishing.   

With Seaweek (7-14 March) coming up  I’ve got more work for Oscar this weekend – I’ll be taking him down to the Mount Maunganui Underwater Club Clean-up at Pilot Bay on Saturday to meet the locals there.  There’s lots happening around the country for Seaweek – its all listed on the website: www.seaweek.org.nz.  Some of the Tauranga event line-up includes:  

  • a public ‘virtual tour’ of the Tuhua Marine Reserve that Ranger Pete is organising on Thursday 11th March where our marine scientist – Kim Young, will share underwater photos and the findings from over a decade of fish monitoring in the reserve
  • A Sea Bird Cruise with the South Sea Sailing Company and local bird expert Tony Crocker on 13th March
  • a marine photography field trip with Dr Kim Westerskov and Captain Graeme Butler on 21 March & 11 April

Aside from Seaweek, March is a good month in Tauranga for getting involved in or learning more about caring for our environment. The Tauranga Environment Centre have put together an amazing calendar of events for “Sustainable Backyards” month; from an educational harbour cruise or guided bush walk to organic farm tours and cheese-making workshops, there’s something for everyone – make sure you check it out.  

Sea you out there!