Waitaki River fishing competition held in 1884

Waitaki River Fishing Competition The first recorded fishing competition on the Waitaki river was organised by the Waitaki Branch of…

Nelson Bolstead, the weigh-master for a more recent Waitaki River fishing competition, the Waitaki Salmon Fishing Contest, checks the stomach cavity of a big salmon during the 1996 event while many other contestants and interested onlookers watch proceedings. Mr Bolstead is a scientist with NIWA and an expert on the life cycle of this species. The years 1996 and 1997 were very good for salmon angling in the Waitaki River. There were plenty of salmon caught by anglers and many of the fish caught weighed in excess of 30 pounds. The 1999/2000 season was a very poor one with most of the few fish that did return from sea being in poor condition. Their thin bodies often being refered to by salmon anglers as “slabs” or “slabby.”

Waitaki River Fishing Competition

The first recorded fishing competition on the Waitaki river was organised by the Waitaki Branch of the Acclimatisation Society in December 1884. It was followed by a second competition one week later. It wasn’t until after the events in February 1895, that prize money of six pounds for six prize winners was authorised.

In October 1894 Mr Rupert Cameron offered a reward of five pounds to the first bonafide New Zealand salmon caught in New Zealand waters (not ponds) on the condition that he be one of the judges.

There is no record of the reward having been won!

Mr Ayson, manager of the Hakataramea hatchery and Assistant Chief Inspector of Fisheries from 1918 to 1929, in a later report says that prior to the arrival of the “white man” to New Zealand, there was neither trout nor salmon in our waters. There was however one species of salmonidae called the native grayling, called upokororo by the Maori.

A very big Waitaki River salmon taken during one of the fishing contests held on the river.

The grayling was the only member of the salmonidae family found in the Southern Hemisphere and is now believed to be extinct.

By 1905 salmon returning to the Waitaki River were observed to be spawning naturally. Since this time salmon have dispersed to other rivers along the South Island’s east coast.

The salmon run of 1929 was reported to be the best in the history of the river. The largest single total of salmon caught for the season was recorded by Constable Berry, who was stationed at Glenavy, who caught 60 fish. Over the season his family, with four rods, took 139 fish.

This post was last modified on 10/12/2015 1:00 pm

Share

Recent Posts

Fly Rod Harling – A useful fishing method and a lot of fun with Monty Wright

Fly Rod Harling on Lake Hawea - Harling is trolling on lakes for trout and landlocked salmon with flies  With…

18/03/2019 2:50 pm

Tie-Fast Knot Tyer Test Video – Tackle Review by Allan Burgess

Tie-Fast Knot Tyer Test Video - Tackle Review by Allan Burgess Video Title: Tie-Fast Fishing Knot Tyer Test Video Description:…

08/03/2019 10:21 pm

Catch and Release – Exquisite Moment at Larry’s Creek

Catch and Release - Exquisite Moment at Larry's Creek - also known as the Awarau River, Near Reefton by Graeme…

06/03/2019 9:57 am

Herter, George Leonard – Professional Fly Tying, Spinning and Tackle Making Manual and Manufacturers Guide

Professional Fly Tying, Spinning and Tackle Making Manual and Manufacturers Guide Written and Illustrated by George Leonard Herter Revised Nineteenth Edition…

05/03/2019 5:41 pm

Maruia River Trout Fishing Magic Near Murchison by Paul Corliss

Maruia River Trout Fishing Near Murchison by Paul Corliss  by Paul Corliss The Irishman's dog was part beagle and three…

04/03/2019 5:20 pm

Faster Fly Tying – Stop Wasting Time Laying Down and Picking Up Scissors

Faster Fly Tying - Simple Organisation Makes a Big Difference Do you have trouble putting your hands on that particular…

04/03/2019 2:42 pm

All Rights Reserved © fishingmag.co.nz 1999 - 2019