Whitebaiters told to wait for the for fish

RACHEL THOMAS
Last updated 10:00 21/08/2014

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Whitebaiters may have found their regular hot spots scarce of the small fry since the beginning of the season, but the Department Of Conservation assures fishermen they are out there.

Floods and king tides in Waikato River had pushed whitebait north, so they may not have been loitering in traditional spots, said Department of Conservation ranger Chris Annandale.

He said some of the "better catches" of the season so far had been in the Tuakau in the northern Waikato and above the "elbow" in Aka Aka.

However, the recent dousing of rain would have swelled the river, pushing whitebait downstream.

"I imagine from [today] south of the elbow will be better fishing," he said.

"The river changes all the time."

On the flipside, recent floods may have wiped out some spawning whitebait so we could see less whitebait later in the season, he said.

Annandale said the season had set off to a "very good start" and whitebaiters had been adhering to fishing rules.

He hadn't had cause to discipline any fishermen yet.

Breaching whitebait regulations can earn a $5000 fine.

The whitebait season ends on November 30.

rachel.thomas@fairfaxmedia.co.nz

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- Waikato Times

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