Fishing the braided rivers

by Ann van Engelen

Selwyn residents that are interested in fishing as a sport are encouraged to give fishing a try on Selwyn’s braided rivers.

“This year, in addition to running events we have been encouraging people to take advantage of all the wonderful activities and locations that are already out there in Selwyn to enjoy,” says council’s acting manager, Sport, Recreation and Wellbeing Dave Tippet.

The Rakaia boasts some of the best Chinook salmon fishing in New Zealand between December and March.

“Fishing is one of those activities that, in addition to catching dinner, can take you to some of the most scenic places in Selwyn. It does come with some rules that need to be respected. For most of our rivers, the season runs until the end of April, and there are restrictions on what you can catch. It is also important to keep gear clean to avoid risks of transferring pests such as Didymo.

“We encourage anyone going freshwater fishing to contact Fish and Game New Zealand first to sort out a licence, which is free for children. Selwyn is part of the North Canterbury region of Fish and Game NZ.

“Make sure you know the rules and best/safest places to make the most of the fishing opportunities we have here in Selwyn. Fishing is an opportunity for a new experience. Many seasoned fishers can also discover a new fishing spot.”

Lake Coleridge is host to one of the very few New Zealand populations of landlocked Chinook salmon. Brown and rainbow trout are also abundant in the lake, as well as the numerous smaller lakes nearby while Birdlings Flat is a popular spot for surf fishers. You can find blue moki at night close to the cliffs, kahawai during the day in summer, and close by Taumutu Beach is where kite fishers might be able to find elephant fish.

“When out and about on the water’s edge, remember safety first. Know the daily fish take sizes and limits where applicable and when in a boat, always wear your life jacket.”