“WHITEBAIT” Sept 29, 2012 17:37:56 GMT 10
Post by Deleted on Sept 29, 2012 17:37:56 GMT 10
Promise of a feed will see whitebaiters out in force
By YVETTE BATTEN - Taranaki Daily News | Wednesday, 15 August 2007
WHITEBAIT SEASON: DOC marine ranger Callum Lilley
will be patrolling fishing areas to make sure
whitebaiters abide by the rules this season.
— MIKE SCOTT/Taranaki Daily News.
TARANAKI rivers will today be lined with scoopers and netters marking the start of the whitebaiting season.
The Mokau and Waitara rivers are expected to have abundant stock, particularly in the tidal zone.
"I would think some people will get a feed tomorrow," said Department of Conservation (DOC) programme manager biodiversity Bryan Williams yesterday.
"The first day is pretty much pot luck. You don't know what is going to happen."
But it's not all fun and games. During the season DOC officers will be patrolling fishing areas to ensure whitebaiters are abiding by the rules.
Last year DOC seized several unattended set nets. People shouldn't stray more than 10 metres from their nets.
"If we come along and find a net unattended, we'll just seize it," he said.
Fishing is allowed between 5am to 8pm from the start of the season.
When daylight saving starts, whitebaiting is allowed from 6am to 9pm.
Mr Williams says people should avoid blocking waterways and setting nets or screens more than 6m long.
Offenders could face fines of up to $5000.
More information is available at any DOC office.
The whitebait season finishes on November 30.
Fish and Game officer Allen Stancliff says to avoid a didymo outbreak, whitebaiters need to check, clean and dry their gear if they're fishing in more than one river.
"The only safe way is to treat each river as if the one that you're in has got didymo and the next one hasn't," he said.
The check, clean and dry routine involves checking for any rock-snot on equipment, cleaning it with a 5% detergent solution and then making sure the item is dry.
As yet didymo, which coats riverbeds in brownish goo, hasn't made it into North Island waterways.
"The goal is to keep it out of the North Island and certainly out of Taranaki," Mr Stancliff said.
Mad dash for top whitebaiting spots predicted
By ROBYN BRISTOW - The Press | Wednesday, 15 August 2007
A QUEUE of anxious whitebaiters was expected to line up at a locked gate at Waikuku Beach this morning to get to the Ashley River mouth for the opening of the season.
Fishermen are not allowed through the gate until 4am, an hour before fishing can start, as part of new rules agreed last week by the Waimakariri District Council.
Whitebaiters predict a mad dash for favourite fishing spots once through the gate and along a dedicated access track through the dunes agreed to by Environment Canterbury (ECan) and the district council.
Keyholder permits will give vehicles access across a small section of the ECan-managed coastal marine area (CMA), and the right to use the gate between 4am and 9pm. The hours change to 5am to 10pm with daylight saving, through to the end of the season on November 30.
Last year whitebaiters, the council and ECan were at loggerheads over access because the historic route from the gate, which could be accessed 24 hours a day, crossed through a large area of the CMA.
Whitebaiters carried dinghies because the rules allowed them to use the route if they were launching a boat.
A staunch opponent of vehicles having any access to the beach, district councillor Jo Kane, yesterday slammed the decision to give whitebaiters access through the dunes.
She said the councils were pandering to one group's needs at the expense of other beach users and she had never seen such a small group have such "telling wins against the rules".
Kane said she moved to restrict the hours of access through the gate, despite opposing vehicles on beaches, because she wanted to stop people camping on the beach and causing health and safety problems.
Fisherman and district councillor Robbie Brine said restricting the hours was "a nonsense" and the route selected through the dunes ridiculous, because it would cost the council a fortune to solidify the base and keep it passable once the sand dried out. He said whitebaiters wanted to be able to fish without the imposition of rules and regulations that "didn't really seem to work".
Ashley Fishermen's Association spokeswoman Noeline Sintes said that while the association was pleased to have access, the restricted hours would encourage people to camp by their fishing spot and drive up the beach from the Waimakariri River mouth to avoid the curfew at the gate.
However, Debbie Jefcoate, chairwoman of the Northern Pegasus Bay Coastal Management Steering Committee, which is working on a non-statutory plan for the coastal environment, believes the brakes have been put on vehicles driving up the beach.
She said they could cross the CMA on their way to the Ashley River mouth and would therefore need a permit.
Jefcoate said the committee had worked tirelessly on the access issue in time for this season and had sent its recommendations to ECan and the district council at the end of June.
Waimakariri Mayor Jim Gerard blamed the 11th-hour decisions on the length of time the steering committee had taken to find a resolution.