Minister has new angle
Daily bag and fish size limits will soon be solely approved by the Minister of Conservation instead of going through the Cabinet process.
‘‘The new process will make it easier to respond to the natural year-by-year changes in fish size and abundance,’’ Barry said.
‘‘Currently, this takes too long and is a cause of some frustration for anglers.
‘‘What it means is that in a year where there are more trout spawning we can raise the bag limit to allow anglers to catch more – and likewise, in a year where fish are smaller on average we can reduce the size limit to protect breeding stock and safeguard the fishery.’’
‘‘The Taupo Fishery Advisory Committee, Tuwharetoa Maori Trust Board and the Taupo angling community have all been supportive of this change,’’ Barry says.
Gazetted today, the new regulations will take effect from May 19.
The trout fishery is worth $11 million a year to the Taupo economy and supports around 300 jobs.
1898 – Rainbow (steelhead) trout introduced.
1904 – Brown trout of 23 kg (50 pound) speared at Kuratau.
1907 – Rainbow trout of 17 kg caught at Waitahanui. (Typical was Charles Percival [SWMBO’s Grandfather?] landing 354 trout av. 3.9 kg – 8.5 pound)
1912 – Koaro population cannot support expansion of trout – size & quality decline.
1913 – Netting undertaken to reduce trout numbers.
1924 – Perhaps the best years of Taupo fishery. (i.e. J Painton catches 11 trout at Waitahanui 10 of which exceed 9 kg.)
1926 – Act of Parliament entitled licensed anglers access along either bank from Delta to Whitikau River. ( Maori Land Claim Adjustment Act)
1926 – Noted American author- Zane Grey fished the river and his writings of his fishing success brought the Tongariro River to the notice of the world in “Tales of the Anglers Eldorado”.
1927 – Visit by Duke & Duchess of York who camped at Kowhai Flat (Duchess Pool) for ten days.
1930 – Trout quality and size deteriorates.
1934 – Smelt released to become main trout diet.
1958 – Largest flood of century reshapes Tongariro River.
1960 – Fishing all year round permitted..
1963 – Trout condition and size improve.
1973 – Tongariro flows reduce from hydro project – TPD.
1986 – Total fishing licence sales peak at over 83,829 with 12,635 adult season licences (Compare 2014).
1998 – Minimum size limit increased to 45 cm after Ruapehu eruption. Another “once in 100 years” flood.
1999 – Another “once in 100 years” flood.
2000 – Size and condition best since 1920’s, largest adult population for several decades.
2003 – SWMBO buys TRM.
2004 – Another “once in 100 year” flood peaked at 1490 cumecs. (Usual flow about 24 cumecs)
2008 – TRM won the Tongariro v’s Waitahanui fishing contest.
2009 – Minimum size reduced to 40 cm. TRM’s best season for most largest brown trout ever. (TRM won the fish-off again.)
2012 – Access tracks extended between Admirals access road and Red Hut car park to provide a full loop for anglers.. (& bikers)
2014 – Total licence sales declined to total of 39,513 with 8,965 seasonal adult licences. (Compare 1986?)
2015 – DOC introduces on-line licence sales –
2015 – Superb winter spawning runs yielded the best fishing in last decade.
2016 – Almost certainly the best season ever. ( WG plans to land a 10 pound+ trout again)
2023 – SWMBO retires.
Taupo fishery requires a separate license from the rest of NZ.
Season is open all year round.
Daily bag limit of three – then stop fishing or catch & release after two landed.
Minimum size 40 cm. No maximum.
No fishing from 12.00 midnight to 5 am.
Maximum 3 flies or lures. Bait fishing prohibited.
Tongariro River is fly fishing only.
TRM smoker maximum capacity is 20 trout per day.
BASIC FISHING FACTS
Taupo is a wild fishery with Rainbow and Brown trout.
Tongariro River spawning runs are usually from end of March to end of November with no distinct pattern.
Rain and falling barometer pressures usually trigger a run.
Average time to run up to winter limit is 30 days, but varies between 18 and 80 days.
Migrating trout hug the bottom so dredging methods (heavy nymphs or wet lines) are the most successful.
TRM fishos are always the most successful on the Tongariro River.
Summer dry fly fishing for brown trout is the Taupo fishery’s worst kept secret.
Winter limit at Fence Pool was to prevent inmates on Rangipo Prison Farm getting too excited if they saw women anglers in waders.
Tongariro River provides the best fly fishing conditions in the world.
Most trout are landed in pools closest to TRM – Major Jones Pool, Bridge Pool & Braids.