“BOB SOUTH WONDERS WHY NEW ZEALAND – SELF-PROFESSED WORLD-CLASS TROUT FISHING DESTINATION – DOESN’T HAVE MANY, OR INDEED ANY, OF THE ICONIC ‘TROUT TOWNS’ SO WONDERFULLY CHARACTERISTIC OF THE AMERICAN WEST.”
The article, commenting on the top 10 trout towns in America, goes on to say on page 22:
“Turangi, with its population of 3000, which bursts to 30,000-plus in peak holidays, would be on the list for sure with three tackle shops , the Tongariro National Trout Centre nearby, and a bevy of guides constantly plying their trade on local rivers and ‘The Great Lake’.
Yet even Turangi has slumped in recent times as a trout town. Until relatively recently, it happily, if somewhat arrogantly marketed itself as “The Trout Fishing Capital of The World”, with a sign declaring as much at its northern entrance and a mammoth, rather crude roadside sculpture of an angler netting a trout at the southern entrance. (see images above)
However, all the local boasting about the once world-class Tongariro river has turned into near silence with indifferent runs the last decade or so and district marketing budgets have swung from promoting trout fishing squarely towards pushing other outdoor pursuits, such as mountain biking, rafting, cycle races, day-walks, and skiing.”
What characteristics identify a “trout town”?
How many towns have huge trout traffic signs at the SH1 entrances to the town?
How many towns have trout emblems on their concrete footpaths?.
How many towns have so many lodges and B&B’s and motels specialising in trout fishing?
How many towns have a world class river extending through the middle of the town providing over 50 pools to fish all year round – no closed spawning season?
How many towns have a National Trout Centre as a main tourist attraction?
How many towns in NZ with less than 3000 residents has three trout fishing tackle shops?
(That excludes several on-line sales outlets that may prefer not to be named – IRD and all that…)
Turangi ticks every box and qualifies in every way. So naturally Turangians are disppointed by his approach in seeking something negative – such as the trout signage – to pick on.
His criticism of the “rather crude roadside sculpture” is quite unreasonable as tourists love it.
Another Tongariro angler reminded us that years ago after TRM asked to copy an article (by DOC’s Glenn MacLean) about the Taupo Fishery, he threatened legal action if TRM’s blog ever repeated one word out of ‘his’ F&G magazine. So we posted his threat on TRM Daily Report… Here is their chance.
It was apparent from subsequent articles herealises magazines cannot compete with the instant news via blogs.
Sadly, it is the misinformation in the article that is bewildering… i.e. Turangi has never had to accommodate 30,000 in peak times. That is almost the entire population of Taupo. There are not that many beds in Turangi. Perhaps that was a typo?
But there is absolutely no evidence in support of his claim that the “district marketing budgets have swung away from promoting trout fishing”? He made that up… Pure BS.
Trout fishing has never been promoted by Taupo Council in over 20 years. TRM Daily Reports have mentioned that lack of promotion problem many times. It is the role and responsibility of the Fishery Managers (DOC) to promote the fishing. The result of a lack of promotion is obvious in the falling Taupo fishing licence sales. As DOC have not promoted Taupo/Turangi trout trout fishing either, his “district marketing budget” has to be his own twisted imagination.
Indeed, this blog you are reading, together with the various other blogs from tackle shops and guides, have done more to promote trout fishing in Turangi in the last decade than DOC and the council combined!
In regard to “indifferent runs” comment, every wild trout fishery in the world suffers fluctuations and patterns following nature’s cycles. This has been the pattern in Taupo ever since trout were introduced. At the moment we are enjoying wonderful conditions. Anglers understand and accept that.
Everyone understands that such journalists seek anything controversial to sell their story but this one was just a concocted fairy tale. If it was slightly accurate at all, Turangi would not continue to enjoy so many repeat bookings from enthusiastic overseas anglers. To make sure, I just checked TRM’s October bookings, all from overseas anglers:
Unit 1 – six days, Unit 2 – nine days, Unit 3 – nine days, Unit 4 – seven days, Units 4 – eight days, Unit 5 – eight days, Unit 6 – nine days, Unit 7 – twenty five days, etc. Ditto November… These bookings clearly confirm overseas anglers preference for staying in a real genuine “trout town”. If the American towns were better, why would they bother to come here?
TRM is the oldest motel – over 50 years old – catering for anglers in Turangi where it might be expected that some fishing guests have been returning for many years. But there are eight other motels and other fishing style lodges and back packers and B&B’s of different quality standards and room rates that all have similar forward bookings from regular overseas guests who return to Turangi again and again for the trout fishing. Their advance bookings confirm they consider Turangi is definitely a “trout town”. If they had doubts like the author of the article, they would not return. These overseas anglers have the choice of any other town in NZ, (including Kakahi – favoured by the author although the Whakapapa River is closed off until October 1st) but continue the tradition over the last fifty years to choose Turangi. That is rather convincing irrefutable evidence of the relative ranking of Turangi amongst trout towns.
Obviously the Taupō fishery is run by DOC.
The last time there was significant spend on fishery marketing was the central government funded ‘bounce back’ campaign in 95, following the eruption.
However, DOC obviously do some marketing of licenses annually (through their existing databases).
Destination Great Lake Taupō and DOC are in discussions about a dedicated fishery marketing campaign.
Our thinking is that this will launch in Autumn 2018 with campaign activity happening in September 2018 alongside an event.
Click on TRM’s short video below – it says it all: