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New salmon season opens

2 min read
New salmon season opens

Salmon anglers walk towards the Rakaia River mouth. Photo: Fish & Game

Salmon fishing season opened on Sunday, 1 December, delayed this year as part of a series of proactive measures North Canterbury Fish & Game are taking to restore the region’s wild salmon populations. Fish & Game regions around the South Island have opted for a daily bag limit of one fish per day with the aim to increase the number of wild fish returning to the spawning grounds.

Fish & Game said they have already heard reports of salmon being spotted in the river mouths and anglers will be in the unusual position of having fish in the river system already, especially on the Rakaia and Waimakariri rivers.

Salmon fishing is not only about harvesting a meal for many dedicated salmon anglers but also go fishing for the scenery, the water, to share their skills with the next generation and to enjoy the comradery of fellow salmon enthusiasts.

In doing so, they keep traditions alive that have now been part of the Canterbury and Kiwi outdoor lifestyle and sports fishing culture for more than 100 years.

As part of the management of the fishery, Fish & Game would like anglers to keep any salmon heads they catch in the Rakaia River in December and January, recording the date and location caught, weight, length, and sex of the salmon.

From these fish, they will analyse the fish ear bones (otoliths), which will enable them to able to determine where they were born, determine at what size they entered the ocean, and if their size and sex differs significantly from later run fish, helping them to sustainably manage the salmon fishery.

Every salmon head supplied will go in the draw for one of three $200 vouchers to spend at the following stores: Hunting & Fishing, Complete Angler, and Fishermans’ Loft to be drawn in February.

Visit or contact Fish & Game on 366 9191.

They can be kept in the freezer in the meantime.

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