Forum Replies Created
- 26/03/2015 at 8:15 am #25563
[b:2xbooa3d]Here is the difference between a 15 and 35 pounder.[/b:2xbooa3d]
[i:2xbooa3d]The late Keith Reinke was one of the best salmon anglers around and a Waitaki River stalwart. Here Keith has landed a hefty 35 pounder together with a 15 pound fish. In this picture you can really see the difference in size. A fish of over double the weight is not so much longer but is rather much broader and heavier in the body. Very few New Zealand anglers will ever catch a salmon weighing anything like 35 pounds. To catch such a fish you need considerable knowledge and skill combined with a certain element of luck![/i:2xbooa3d]
Thanks for posting a link to that Fisheries Report about Munida gregari (red krill). There is certainly thought to be a link between the abundance, or scarcity, of krill in the sea off Canterbury and Otago, and the size and number of returning salmon to our South Island east coast rivers. I remember once fishing for big sharks off Otago Peninsula. The dark blue/black sea water was laced with enormous clouds of dark maroon coloured red krill stretching as far as the eye could see in every direction. The volume of which was just unimaginable. The krill were being preyed on by vast schools of barracouta and kahawai. The sky was full of seabirds. It was an incredible sight.
In the worst salmon season on record in 2001 red cod catches off Canterbury and Otago also collapsed. Salmon returns at that time were poor in all the east coast rivers which shows the problem was at sea. Part of the allure of salmon fishing is anticipation of the season ahead. It takes patience, skill, and knowledge to catch salmon no matter how many are running our rivers in any given season. Any day you catch a salmon is a day worth celebrating.
Ross Millichamp, of North Canterbury Fish & Game, regarded as one of our most knowledgeable salmon anglers, once said, “In Canterbury, each season, perhaps 100 anglers catch as many salmon as all the other salmon anglers put together.” In my experience I would say Ross is quite correct!
I would like to point out to some of our readers, who may be unaware, there have been days in the mid 90s when over 100 salmon a day have been landed at the mouths of the Rakaia and Waimakariri Rivers. Sometimes this has occurred for days at a time. Most of the fish caught were well over 9kg (20lbs). Many of the salmon landed weighed around 16kg (35lbs) – some were even heavier.
Here you can see the winning fish weights in the Waitaki Salmon Fishing Contest over the years: https://fishingmag.co.nz/Waitaki-Riv … eights.htm
26/03/2015 at 5:46 am #25562
http://decapoda.nhm.org/pdfs/30252/30252.pdf Some info on Krill. Interesting that in the article on what salmon eat at sea that they say the really good body weights are achieved in an extended shoalling for krill season. I remember the krill were particularly abundant 2 years back. Be interesting to see if things bounce back next year.26/03/2015 at 1:16 am #25561
Where do the salmon go when they leave our rivers is a good question. Gavin James of NIWA talks about what they are eating while at sea in this article:
It is reasonable to assume that they are going to follow the most readily accessible food supply. But they don’t like warm water which is a large part of the reason salmon have not become established in the North Island.
According to New Zealand King Salmon chief executive Grant Rosewarne, warm sea temperatures at the company’s Waihinau Bay farm, in Pelorus Sound, had contributed to the deaths of a large number of salmon. Rosewarne would not say for commercial reasons how many salmon had died, or how many fish were at the farm, but said the mortality rate was a “multimillion-dollar problem to solve”. Water temperatures at the Waihinau Bay farm had stayed above 18 degrees Celsius for three months, Rosewarne said. “I don’t think we’ve ever had it quite as bad as this year.” King salmon cannot regulate their body temperature. They function best when water temperatures are between 12C and 17C.
So I’m picking they won’t be headed very far north once they leave the Rakaia and Waimakariri Rivers. Some years sea water temperatures are warmer than others. Temperatures in the deep ocean are colder and more constant than surface temperatures. So salmon may go deeper when the surface water is too warm. However they also have to eat while at sea so will have to move to where the food supply is in the water column.
Sea temperatures in Canterbury have been warmer in the last few years. A snapper was caught recently at Birdlings Flat, and yellowtail kingfish have been taken this summer in Otago Harbour. There have also been a lot more kahawai around the Canterbury coastline. These species are generally associated with warmer waters further north.24/03/2015 at 6:52 am #25558
In a not so good season you have to work hard for every fish!
This salmon was caught at the mouth of Canterbury’s Waimakariri River on 7th March 2015. Although the fish are smaller this season they are actually harder to catch because there are fewer of them.
There are good seasons; and not so good seasons
The main run of salmon in the Waimakariri River is in mid to late March. However this 2014/2015 season has been a poor one. It is a poor season in two respects; the numbers of salmon returning are very low, and secondly the salmon are small and skinny. When the salmon are small and skinny the numbers are always well down too.
Many anglers are unaware that the difference between the numbers of salmon returning in a good season to that of a poor season is quite large. In a good season there may be as many as twenty times as many fish entering the rivers for anglers to catch.
The salmon are small because the numbers of sprats and krill, the species which salmon mainly feed on at sea, have been noticeably down this summer. This has also effected yellow-eyed penguins which have been starving.
Early season fish weights are a good pointer to the prospects for the season ahead. If you look at the early season salmon weights for fish caught by Rakaia Hut Owners, in their competition.
The heaviest fish caught weighed 7.97kg (17.5 pounds), caught on 18 December 2014. The average weight has been 5.54kg (12.2 pounds). Up to the beginning of March there had still been no fish weighed in heavier than 7.97kg.
By way of comparison in the 1983/84 salmon angling season there were many big salmon landed. A 16kg (35 lbs) fish won both the Rakaia and Rangitata fishing competitions that year. There were reports of even bigger salmon weighing over 20kg being taken during the 1983/84 season. One salmon was weighed in at 18.4kg (40.9 lbs), 117cm, it was a tagged fish landed at Kowhai Flats in the Rakaia River. 1993/1994 was also a very good season. 1999/2000 was a shocker.
In other words it is a poor season this time around. The salmon are small and there are far fewer of them. Many anglers I know who usually catch quite a few haven’t even caught one. It comes down to conditions at sea. Salmonids grow big quickly if they have a good supply of food and the water temperature is to their liking. You can see a good example of this by the huge size of the trout and salmon caught down at the Twizel Canals where they get plenty of free food. Conversely they grow slowly and are a lot smaller if they can’t find much to eat. A good example of this can be found in Lake Coleridge where the landlocked salmon are small and skinny because there isn’t much for them to eat.
Next summer, or perhaps the one after that, the salmon will be bigger and there will be a lot more of them for anglers to catch. Still some anglers will catch fish – good season or not.24/03/2015 at 2:56 am #25556
I wasn’t at the Rangers Comp yesterday but apparently there were two salmon caught at the mouth about 30 minutes before the end. One was just over 4kg and the other just under. There was a lot of sea lettuce making it difficult to fish.21/03/2015 at 9:50 am #25553
There were 14 salmon weighed in at the Waimakariri River Salmon Fishing Contest today.20/03/2015 at 8:03 am #25550
I heard there was nothing taken at the mouth today. The surf is still rough with the odd surge coming up the river. One caught at the Banana Hole this morning. There were 6 taken at mouth yesterday at low tide18/03/2015 at 3:24 am #25548
Rakaia Hut Owners Comp 2014/2015 salmon weights.
Salmon caught during the recent Rakaia River Salmon Fishing Contest. It weighed about 4kg. Again typical of the salmon this season.
Rakaia Hut Owners Competition 2014/2015
The hut owners at South Rakaia hold a fishing competition which runs throughout the salmon fishing season from November through to April. Here are the fish weights. They make interesting reading. Note the heaviest fish caught weighed 7.97kg (17.5 pounds). The average weight (excluding the very small fish at the top of the list) was just 5.54kg (12.2 pounds). From memory the last time the salmon got down to these sort of weights was the 2000 season. The most likely reason for these low fish weights is poor feeding conditions at sea.
This salmon caught at the mouth of the Waimakariri River, and entered in the Kairaki Beach Motor Camp Comp, weighed about 5kg. It is typical of the salmon taken this season. They have been difficult to catch too.09/03/2015 at 7:22 pm #25537
they do stop feeding, the feeding continues in the tidal zone, and once in fresh the stomach begins to close.
the reflex to feed and strike a bait, lure is still there however.06/03/2015 at 6:55 am #25527
Outstanding. Great documentary. Food for thought. I have little doubt the disease and viruses are the cause of our salmon run decline. I have caught several sick fish in the past few years. Skinny with mal formed tails. Intensification of food production with live animals is fraught with challenges, and money talks.05/03/2015 at 7:02 am #25524
Lol S.S I was referring to Aretheyrunning yet…. Still can’t see yours.03/03/2015 at 8:31 am #25521
they don’t take the pilchards because of hunger, its the same as fishing with a zeddie… annoyance when the pilchard gets in the way on its way past.01/03/2015 at 2:25 am #25514
Did anyone pick up a black co2 life jacket today from the north side of Hurunui. Left on a log.
Went back to pick up but was already gone. Cheers.27/02/2015 at 9:56 am #25512
26 salmon Friday.27/02/2015 at 7:32 am #25511
Bloody good Canterbury King That. Cheers for the pic.