OTAGO ANGLERS' ASSOCIATION.
The following is the seventh annual report to be presented to to-night's meeting of the above:
Your Committee have agaiu much pleisure in lavim; before itn members details of the past season's .sport, fishing competitions, etc,
Last year we tried the expoiiment of reducing our annual subscription to Ha. This had the effect of jumping our membeiship list up from nineteen tu thirty-nine. However we still think that we should have a much larger roll than this, and at the annual meeting to-night the membeis will be asked to once more reduce the subscription—this time to the very moderate sum of 2s od. If thiH is given effect to— and we have not the least doubt but it will be carried—then there is no excuse for any license-holder to bold back ; and we trust that one and all will join our ranks, and thus enable the Association to extend its sphere of labors in many ways which at present it is unable to do on account of want of funds.
PRIZKS. Wo held four competitions last season, for which wo received twenty-five entries. The total number of fish caught was seventy, »nd the total weight 1171b 4oz. PerhapH it would interest the members to know how much they are behind other years, I will therefore give the results of the last three years :
Fisli caught. Total woicrht. Season 1884-85 .. '296 .. 8701b 4Joz „ 1885-8-j .. 2(18 .. 3001b lloz „ 1880-87 .. U>7 .. 2191b Ooz From this you will notice that our returns have been gradually getting smaller and beautifully less. Should this state of things continue much longer we will soon be having the little county clubs running right away from us in the matter of competitions. The Association's gold medal was won by Mr James Wilkie, with a basket of 301b—22 fish. Mr C. Hale's prize, a silver medal, falls to Mr W. Aitken, whose take weighed 151b Boz—--13 fish.
The fly rod, presented by Mr Jamps Wilkie, was won by Mr J. Corbett; the John Anderson mpdal by Alexander King, of Benhar ; Mr W. M'Cormick, of Tapanui, taking the si'ver medal presented by the Association. This season wo shall hold at least five competitions. No doubt the most exciting will be for tho poosesi'ion of the lohn Anderson trophy—a very handsome medal valued at LlO 10s, The conditionsof thiscompetition are that tho competitor must win the trophy twice, not necessarily in succession, before it becomes his absolute property. The usual gold and silver medals will be presented by the Association. Several gentlemen have also come forward and offered to present piizes. Mr Charles Hale, jeweller, will again docate a ss\sr medal, Mr J. Wilkie will give a handsome fly rod, and Mr W. Bremer will forward a pair of wading stockings for competition. Messrs Thomas Brown and D, Re id have also promised to give trophies for competition, so that with these extra prtees we shall he enabled to give our members something worth fishing for.
Due allowance must be mado for the miserable returns of last season. This must not by any means be put down to a want of zeal on the part of the members, but almost solely to a train of adverse circumstances and downright hard luck in the selection of dates of contests, almost all our competitions being fished off in ho»vy gales, accompanied with cold, sleety rain, the very worst kind of angling weather. Another cause of the poor returns is that rivers which in the past afforded our members capital sport are now almost unfishable and very poorly stocked with trout, on account of tho water being polluted nith tailings water from mining'claims. Given good weather during the flrßt months of the season and the rivers in anything like condition, we will no doubt have a much better average to report at our next meeting.
RIVERS. The Leith.—Last season this stream was rather heavily fished, and in consequence no one made a particularly heavy record Messrß Churley, Anderson, Bamfiold, Williams, Brown, and Mirams were about the most successful, Mr Churley heading the list with a take of 241b 7os. Mr Anderson was very lucky in securing a very fine-conditioned 4£lb fish. In the lower roaches Mr Bamfielil also had very good sport, killing several heavy fish. In the upper waters fish were fairly numerous, but small. Mr G. B. Brown managed to take some capital baskets on one or two favorable days. Thin ypar anglers should get pomo of the American brook trout, 7i:i fish of this variety being vety plentiful last year. The Acclimatisation Society liberated 20,000 young fry in this stream laßt Braion, and 10,000 the previous year. > ngling should therefore be a little better this year than formerly. Silvcrstream. —This stream is slowly recovering from the effects of tho poaching of a few seasons back. Last year a great quantity of young fry of various kinds were liberated, ai:d next peason anglers should bo able to get a fairly good basket on a favorable day. The Waitati was well patronised by our members last year, Messrs Williams, Johnson, Anderson, Ogg, Reid, and Coombes on different occasions having very good sport. The fish average a little larger than their Water of Leith cousins, and are also a trifle better conditioned. After a fresh an expert angler can always reckon on making a good basket in this stream. The Shag.—This Btream was almost deserted by our members last season, and those who did vi-nture to give it a trial had very poor sport. I am afraid that, the mining on the upper reaches has completely spoilt this river, and that it will never regain its old popularity or yi'pld the baskets ft used to in former years. Lovell Flat.—The big schools of fish that usually come up this stream to escape the warm and shallow waters of the lake were not on hand last reason for the anglers of this district to try th°ir luck on. I think it will be some time before the phenomenal takes of 1886-87 will be surpassed ; however, two of our members—Messrs Fraser and Nelson—did very well when the water in the creek was in anything like condition.
The Molyneux. This, tho New Zealand father of waters, i" fast becoming quite an Eldorado for votaries of the angle. Year by year the size of the fish and the weight of the catches are increasing; one of our members (Mr J. Wilkie) in two days killed fifteen fish weighing 501b, which you will allow is a very respectable record. Kveryone who fishes tho stream does well, and in some cases when the elements are particularly favorable enormous baskets are the result of a few hours' angling. In the upper reaches of the Clufcka, above Cromwell, the fißb. are getting very numerous. Messrs Horn and Bethune, and several other local anglers, all did well, fishing in the evening with Devon and phantom minnows. I would advise any of our members who think of taking a trip to Central Otago to be sure and take their fishing tack 1 0, as there are dozens of creeks all full of fish on the route taken by the coach. Waiwera.—This grand little stream did not give so'good, an account of itself last year as we would wish. Two or three of our most skilful anglers visited it, but only to return empty handed and in a very bad humor. It is such a tempting looking river that one can hardly realise that fish are not there. Three ot four years ago it fairly swarmed with fine, lusty golden-spotted trout. "Where are these fi»hes now,? Echo answers Where? They have not been caught by anglerr, that we are quite sure of. Have the eels or shags discovered that these trout are of such a prime quality? We are almost inclined to believe that those slippery customers are our worst poachers, after the evidences of their voracity some of our members have been eye witnesses of. It is to bo deplored that Buch a splendid trout stream as this is should be so poorly populated, anl we think that the Acclimatisation Society should hold an inquiry as to the causes of its depopulation.
The looal anglers of Kaihikn have every reason to be proud of tho stream that winds its way through their district. I must say that Dunedin anglers have a very high opinion of its trout-producing capabilities. All those who have been fortunate enough to fish its waters say that they are always sure of a basket if the weather is at all propitious. Thero is, however, one little matter I should like to draw tho resident anglers' attention to, and that is tho banks are getting fearfully overgrown with bush. It is almost impossible to fish portions of this stream with anything like pleasure or oomfort. Now, what is to prevent anglers who fish this river frequently from sotting apart a day to clear off these obstructions. I am sure they would be well repaid by the increased number of flsh that they would land. Another thing, they would lose far less tackle than they do at present. Kuriwao.—This river is very heavily fished by the young folks of Clinton, and I noticed on my last visit that some of these youthful anglers are getting very expert. However, fish are still numerous in tho lower reaches, and likely to bo so long as the anglers allow the river to bo overgrown wiih Cape broom and gorse. I would suggest that the Clintpn anglers follow in the footsteps of their Milton friends and form an angling society, having for one of its principal objects this matter of clearing the streams of obstructions. The Pomahaka.—The lower reaches of this liver afforded capital sport to several Clinton ar glers last season; Messrs Roseveare and a friend, for one day's angling, weighed in a basket of 80'b. In the upper waters, near Tapanui, the local anglers occasionally had some excellent Bport; but, taking the rjveras a whole, it is nothing to be compared to what it waß in 1880-87, when a 401b or 501b basket for a day's angling was nothing uncommon, It is sa : d by those who have had every opportunity of watching this stream that the eels sue in a great measure to blame for this sudden decrease of its finny population. The shags also
do a great deal of damage, killing vast quantities of and lib trout, particularly at this time of the year, when the young shagß are hatched out and require a large supply of food. The Waipahi.—All our members who could spare the time made a trip to this our best stream, but as the weather was very bad during the holiday season of last year the takes wete nothing above the ordinary. Messrs W. Carlton, I>. Heid, U. Uhishulni, and several Canton anglers had some very fire baskets of large fish. We all kuow that this river is jujt full of ?ood fish, and if you have the luck to strike it when, the fish are well on the feed a big basket is the inevitable result, provided that the angler possesses a moderate amoant of skill. This year some of the new varieties of trout—viz., Loch Leven aud American brook trout-should ba captured. As both these varieties are very game, anglers who are fortunate enough to hook them will get splendid sport. These varieties take the fly better than any other trout we have in our rivers, which fact should gladden the hearts of our "bare fly " fishers.
Otaria and Waikaka.—The fish in these two streams are noted for their prime edible qualities, but, from all I can learn, very few graced the festive boards of Dunedin anglers. Most of the big baskets were made by Gore anglers. However, some of our members have signified their intention to give them a trial early this seasou, so that I shall perhaps be able to say moro about them next season. There are numoous streams well stocked with lusty trout tint it would well repay our members to visit. I will mention a few of the best: the Owake, Puerua, Glenomaru, Minihau, Wairekiki, Upper Taieri, Upper Manuherikia, Upper Mataura, and the streams in the vicinity of Waikaia. Very heavy baskets fell to the share of tho.-e of our members who have fished some of these streams, and this season I am informed by the officers of the Acclimatisation Society that trout are particularly numerous in all the streams I have mentioned. On one reach in the Euriwao, no less than seventeen large fish of an average weight of 81b were observed spawning at one time. PROSPECTS 01' THE INCOMING SEASON. From all sides we hear that this has been a splendid year for the trout. Everywhere large quaßtities of fish have been seen on the spawning beds, and now even at this early date the fish are rising to the fly on all the rivers. We predict some very heavy baskets will be taken on the first, if the weather keeps as it is PERSONAL. This society wishes at th s time to record its appreciation of the efforts that the Acclimatisation Society is putting forth in the matter of fish breeding, and note with pleasure that this year they will distribute close on one million trout in the rivers and streams of Otago. The thanks of all anglers are due to this, the premier acclimatisation society of New Zealand, for their untiring efforts to make our streams and rivers second to none for the quantity, quality, and variety of their trout. To Messrs Deans and Burt (officers of the Acclimatisation Society) this society is very much indebted for information respecting the fishing capabilities of the various streams in Otago ; also to Constables Mackenzie, Conn, Millar, and Walker, of the police department, who have been very energetic in keeping down poaching. Wo have to record with regret the death of one of our oldest members, Mr D. M. Wilson, a member of our Committee, anil one who alwayß evinced a lively interest in the affairs of this Association.
In conclusion, wo wish to remind anglers that the sole aim and object of this Association is to do everything in its power to encourage legitimate angling, as well as to foster this most healthful and innocent means of recreation. We therefore ask all those who have the welfare of the sport at heart tj take an interest in the work, and the best way to accomplish this is for all anglers to join our ranks, and thus enable the Association to. carry out the progiammc to its fullest extent. Geq. M. Marshall, Hon. Sec.
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OTAGO ANGLERS' ASSOCIATION., Evening Star, Issue 8023, 27 September 1889
OTAGO ANGLERS' ASSOCIATION. Evening Star, Issue 8023, 27 September 1889
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