Fish oblige for family angling contest

Organisers of this year’s Lake Hawea Family Fishing Classic are describing it as one of the best in decades on every front.

Committee member Lorne Capell said there were 401 entries, the most since the 1990s, the weather conditions were perfect, a lot of fish were caught and they were bigger compared to previous years.

"We had a calm day, which is really unusual for Lake Hawea, but it has a record of turning it on once every five years and we lucked-in this year," Mr Capell said.

The competition appealed to all age groups but it was particularly aimed at families and children, he said.

"We are here to encourage people to get outside and enjoy the outdoors and this fantastic asset that we have in Lake Hawea.

Sarah Dougherty (12), of Wanaka, holds the 716g brown trout that did not get away. PHOTO: KERRIE...
Sarah Dougherty (12), of Wanaka, holds the 716g brown trout that did not get away. PHOTO: KERRIE WATERWORTH
"Kids don’t have to be in a big flash boat. There are plenty of fish to be caught from the shore.

First, second and third prizes were awarded for heaviest rainbow trout, brown trout and salmon but there were also prizes for the best family catch, the heaviest fish (caught) by a child, the best genuine hard luck story and the biggest tangle at weigh-in.

Otago Fish and Game officer Paul van Klink weighed and measured each fish at the weigh-in and said it was a great way to collect information for Fish and Game on the health and numbers of fish in the lake.

This year the catch rate was "a lot better" than previous years but the number of salmon was "way down" he said.

Mr Capell said the competition had a lot of sponsors, some of which were tourist-related, and they had still come on board for which organisers were "very grateful".

All profits were distributed back to local community groups, he said.

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