the problem of overcrowded waters

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pomscott
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Joined: Thu Dec 25, 2014 12:17 am

Re: the problem of overcrowded waters

Post by pomscott » Tue Mar 27, 2018 10:37 pm

I plead not guilty to any of the offences mentioned, but fear consequences will follow anyway.
We have a different but also worrying situation on the Highland West Coast of Scotland. Our small spate rivers were never overcrowded with legal fly fishers. First there were the poachers' "wee nets" right across rivers and in approaches. Then the sea fisheries took a terrible toll. Finally the salmon farm cages in the sea lochs are polluting areas through which wild fish return and smolts go to sea. Parasitic sea lice and other infections thrive in the intensively stocked cages and spread to wild stocks. Result, sea trout (sea run browns) are virtually extinct and wild salmon are in terminal decline. Action taken in the last few years....most rivers have 100% catch and release imposed. Anything done about the root causes of the decline? Nothing, some commercial interests are too powerful to be touched.
Not really comparable to what is happening in NZ, but perhaps the (willful) failure to identify and effectively deal with the root causes has some parallels.
Fortunately we still have some remote brown trout (relatively small ones!) fishing virtually untouched. Happy to extend the same courtesies to visitors as those I have experienced in NZ.



RussellfromOz
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Joined: Wed Mar 28, 2018 10:59 am

Re: the problem of overcrowded waters

Post by RussellfromOz » Wed Mar 28, 2018 11:50 am

Hi All,
I am a regular visitor to the South Island. I come for the trout fishing and typically spend 4-5weeks in a campervan so I guess I partly fit the trout bum image described in the Stuff article simply because I am a visitor and I stay more than a few weeks. However, I consider myself to be a responsible tourist and fisherman and would argue the great majority of the other visiting anglers I have met over the years on NZ waters are also responsible anglers and tourists.
I am typically in NZ for a month or more but rarely spend more than one or two nights freedom camping....so I pay for accommodation in motor camps. In the five years I have been fishing in NZ I have kept just 2 fish for the table. So I, like most of the visitors I have met practice catch and release - it could be argued the concept was introduced to the NZ fishing scene by visiting anglers. Catch and release ethics mean we are not gorging ourselves on NZ trout every day, but rather preparing our own food or eating at local restaurants, cafes and pubs. Like all anglers I never have enough tackle and typically spend a lot purchasing angling supplies. We visiting anglers often stay in smaller towns in the South Island, away from the major tourist centres - and our purchases of accommodation, fuel, tackle, food and beverages is, I suspect, a significant contribution to the economy of those towns.
I have not fished a back country river in NZ for more than a decade. The last time I did I tramped in only to find a helicopter party in front of me. These days I lack the physical fitness to tramp so far, but mostly I find the commercial guide/high value guest thing more than a little overpowering -it's too intense. So I avoid it. I am not interested in 'trophy fish'. What I love is that there are boundless opportunities within easy reach of a man of my age and fitness on rivers like the Haka, Mataura, Aparima, Oreti. I fish alone and without a guide primarily because for me the joy of fishing in NZ is that it often is not easy. I enjoy the challenge of finding and catching wary fish in often trying weather conditions. The fact I can do that without assistance (or supervision) gives me enormous satisfaction.
On my first few visits I came for a couple of weeks only, but these days I come for longer periods for two reasons, the first is the weather which as we all know can turn bad and remain bad for days at any time of the year. I typically expect to lose about a week of prime fishing to the vagaries of the weather. The other reason is that it takes me a good week or so to relax and settle into the joy of visiting your country. I typically arrive and for the first few days I am out on the water for many hours, but as the days roll by, the time spent on the water each day diminishes and once on the water I often find myself sitting quietly watching fish go about their business.
Now while I understand some of the frustrations apparent in the Stuff article I personally feel that my activities in NZ each year are not a threat to the trout fishery or NZ anglers.
I am however also a biologist and environmental scientist in my professional life and it's clear to me that the greatest threat to the ongoing viability of the trout fishery in many parts of the South Island are the dairy and irrigation industries....just as they are the greatest threats here in my part of the world. I would contend that in the continuing fight to protect the trout fishery and the quality of waterways in NZ, foreign anglers are allies, not the enemy.



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Steve
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Re: the problem of overcrowded waters

Post by Steve » Wed Mar 28, 2018 12:23 pm

RussellfromOz wrote:
Wed Mar 28, 2018 11:50 am
I am however also a biologist and environmental scientist in my professional life and it's clear to me that the greatest threat to the ongoing viability of the trout fishery in many parts of the South Island are the dairy and irrigation industries....just as they are the greatest threats here in my part of the world. I would contend that in the continuing fight to protect the trout fishery and the quality of waterways in NZ, foreign anglers are allies, not the enemy.
Nice post Russell and couldn't agree more with these sentiments in particular!!



Maniototoflyfisher
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Re: the problem of overcrowded waters

Post by Maniototoflyfisher » Wed Mar 28, 2018 3:09 pm

I feel so fortunate to live in a backwater- I only meet the odd non resident angler in my patch and all have seemed like "nice buggers" like pomscott, Kiwioz and RussellfromOz. Long may it continue 😜



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Steve
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Re: the problem of overcrowded waters

Post by Steve » Sat Mar 31, 2018 6:39 am

I found these licence sales figures, not total sure exactly what is included as far as licence types, however what they don't show is an explosion in the number of people fishing over the last few years

Nationally the figure total licences sold (not LEQS) for 2016/2017 was 111659 compared to 112241 the previous year.

South Island was 79581 compared to 78551 the previous year. No particular South Island region showed a significant increase.

The 2014/15 FGNZ licence sales figure was 104,944

So it appears it's how people are fishing rather than growth in numbers, perhaps too they are more knowledgeable and able to target the prime waterways better than previously, hard not to go back to the point about approximately the same number of anglers have to fish in an ever diminishing resource... as being the biggest and most obvious change I would think...



Johnno
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Re: the problem of overcrowded waters

Post by Johnno » Sat Mar 31, 2018 8:27 am

Be interesting to know the ratio of resident to tourist licences and how that’s changed over the years. It’d be impossible to know prior to the introduction of the tourist licence, but there must be figures since then.

Has the collapse of the salmon fishery had an adverse effect of resident licence sales in Canterbury and CSI?

Also be interesting to know how many resident anglers are junior, or youth.



Shingalia
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Joined: Tue Aug 18, 2015 8:03 am

Re: the problem of overcrowded waters

Post by Shingalia » Mon Apr 02, 2018 9:49 am

It seems the problem of overcrowding by tourists (witness Queenstown's problems) has spilled over into the long-overlooked sport of fly fishing.

We are now seeing what the locals in Venice, Florence and Rome nave endured or more than a century. The fishing aspect is part of that.

Do we control the problem, or do we continue down the path of dumb and dirty growth? (I know what path the previous government wanted).



Brown Trout Stalker
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Re: the problem of overcrowded waters

Post by Brown Trout Stalker » Tue Apr 03, 2018 7:36 am

RussellfromOz wrote:
Wed Mar 28, 2018 11:50 am
Now while I understand some of the frustrations apparent in the Stuff article I personally feel that my activities in NZ each year are not a threat to the trout fishery or NZ anglers.
Russell
Individually you are not a problem, but having 4000 plus of you is.
Each person who fishers here says that they aren't the problem or the issue, but when you add them up together, they become a problem.
You've got to understand that we aren't having a go at the lone angler, we are looking at from a "collective whole" and how much damage that "collective whole" is doing to our New Zealand fishery and the implications to us local anglers.


Many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after.

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fraser hocks
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Location: Queenstown

Re: the problem of overcrowded waters

Post by fraser hocks » Tue Apr 03, 2018 8:52 am

Spot on Paul. There are good and bad in the crop of anglers that come here, but that is irrelevant to this issue. Its the number of anglers, not the style of anglers that is the issue.


Bucking trends in fly fishing since 1970!

the_skunk_whisperer
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Joined: Thu Nov 13, 2014 6:31 am

Re: the problem of overcrowded waters

Post by the_skunk_whisperer » Wed Apr 04, 2018 7:38 pm

Ditto Isaak's sentiments... more beat systems - LONG overdue.



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