Anglers happy as Taupo trout return

by Tony Bishop on December 30, 2012

Lake Taupo (central North Island, NZ) anglers are enjoying some of the best fishing in years as the world-renowned wild fishery returns limit catches of well conditioned trout.

Department of Conservation Taupo fishery area manager Dave Lumley said the abundance of smelt and zooplankton in the lake was contributing to anglers catching limit bags of good conditioned trout.

A limit bag on Lake Taupo is three fish, each over 40 centimetres (15.7”)  long.

"It’s a continuance of the good fishing which we noticed from early summer, from around mid-November. The fish are bigger and in superb condition, with many caught measuring between 42-45 centimetres."

Lumley said anglers were catching maiden fish, sometimes second spawners, which had not been takeable last summer.

The southern end of the lake, off Omori, Kuratau and Whareroa, was proving productive, as was Waihaha Bay on the western side of the lake, he said.

Climatic changes, floods and eruptions have taken a toll on the fishery in the past 10 years.

Angler numbers have fallen 22 per cent on Lake Taupo since 2005, while adult licence sales have decreased from 12,557 to 9,791 since 2006.

Taupo Hunting and Fishing owner Mike Stent said the fishery had improved each year since 2009.

"It’s coming out of a hole and for the past three years the fishing has been getting better and better.

"The fishery is in good heart, we’ve seen big improvements and there is plenty of smelt around this year for the trout."

Stent hoped the improvements would encourage people to start fishing again.

"A lot of anglers stopped because of the lean years. What many don’t understand is Taupo is a wild fishery and it slowed up because of floods and eruptions over recent years. Many of the spawning runs were wiped out."

Full story here.

My experience: I have fished the Taupo area, especially the rivers spilling into Lake Taupo, regularly over the last year and the number and condition of the trout has been very good indeed – not back to what it was 10 years ago, but certainly getting there.

Let’s face it, how many overseas anglers would love to fish an area where the trout are wild, average around 41cm (16”) long, and round and fat with it?

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