Taupo fishing survey
In past years the Taupo fishing harvest has been regularly surveyed for the last 20 years in five year stages i.e. 1990/91, 1995/96, 2000/01, 2005/06, 2010/11. The trends that emerge have been of much interest to many more than just Taupo licence holders.
Anglers look forward with anticipation to DOC’s survey of the last season – 2015/16 – and results.
The last survey included interesting stats over the last 20 years by comparing everything – the total estimated harvest, Lake Taupo v’s Tongariro river harvests, catch numbers, catch per unit of effort (guided and non-guided), relative effort, permanent home residence of anglers, relative harvest from different types of fishing methods for non-guided anglers, hours fishing on Tongariro River, harvest and catch numbers and effort and results from different methods from Tongariro River, average weights, comparisons of effort and catch from nymph v’s wet fly methods, percentage of legal sized trout, etc.
Fascinating stuff as it clearly indicates how valuable and important the Tongariro River is to anglers. i.e. The greatest number of anglers counted by DOC on the Tongariro River was on 22 August 2010 when 82 were counted.
Indeed TRM have used the last survey to settle many friendly arguments at the end of a day over a strong cup of tea between inmates. i.e. SWMBO always gets a lot of stick for favouring nymphing over wet lining on the Tongariro. Some die-hard wet liners (Hi WG) never believe us until we present the facts from the survey.
In the last 2010/11 survey comparing the relative use of upstream nymph casting over down stream wet fly results, nymphing caught 85% of the catch. Back in 1990/91 nymphers were responsible for 69% of the catch. The trend and better results from nymphomaniacs are obvious. So which would you encourage new anglers to apply? Once they are faced with the stats the wet liners usually change the subject…
The TRM report commented more about that yesterday.
Catch & Release?
The harvest reported on in the Survey during the season 2010/11 was the lowest by far on just 5,692 trout. The percentage harvested on the Tongariro River decreased from a peak of 75% in 1990/91 to a low of 36% in 2010/11. Obviously anglers were keeping larger trout only so the % was affected. Considering the improved trout size and condition last season it will be interesting to see the results of the survey.
This practice of catch & release definitely attributed to the drop in harvest. Anglers were releasing much more of their catch than 20 years ago. This could be due to condition factors in 2010 but this change in angling behaviour last season was considered excessive.
So it is interesting to see other commentators on other websites encouraging more anglers to keep their catch. If anglers continue to release too many the inevitable result is smaller fish as the food chain and supply in Lake Taupo gets stretched.
Many claim that most of the trout released die anyway. After fighting to the point of utter exhaustion and then being handled for the hook removal and inevitable photos and weighed and measured their chances of survival are very slim.
So anglers might as well keep them and improve the remaining lake stock at the same time.
Releasing Trout So They Survive
- Squeeze a fish or rip the hook out.
- Throw a fish back into the water.
- Put your fingers in the gills (the gills are the lungs of the fish … it is what they breathe with).
- Kick a fish onto the beach or bank.
- Let a fish flap around on sand or rocks (causes them to loose scales / slime which protects their bodies from diseases / fungus infections).
- Let the fish flap on the floor of your boat (causes them to loose scales / slime which protects their bodies from diseases / fungus infections).
- If possible leave the fish in the water and unhook it without touching it.
- Bring the fish carefully to the edge of the stream or river and unhook it while it remains in the water.
- if this isn’t possible, use a soft knotless net and carefully lift the fish into the boat.
- Leave the fish in the net, and without touching it, remove the hook using long-nosed pliers/forceps.
- If you must handle the fish, wet your hands first (dry hands can cause fungus / disease to take hold on the fish).
- Hold the fish gently upside down to remove the hook as trout lie more quietly in this position.
- Support the fish gently upright in the water until it swims away.
Further to TRM Daily Report yesterday re nymphing v’s wet line results on the Tongariro based on the above DOC studies, local guide Mike Hughes kindly provided the following correction:
Just to clarify a couple of the points you raised. First of all I didn’t say I’d caught twenty fish. I wrote “I’m going to pluck a figure out of the air here … lets say over the last three or four sessions on the river I’ve caught twenty fish.” I was trying to illustrate that with the present conditions I’ve found it more effective to use other methods. I also went on to say “ Of course that breakdown will change once the runs are underway in earnest and the river takes on its winter look. But even then those other methods will still account for a lot of fish.”
And back to yesterday’s report – the deadly fly used exclusively by one very successful Tongariro angler for seven months last season – you guessed it.
A glo bug.