Just had 2 glorious months fishing this beautiful river, amongst others in the area of course, but have a couple of gripes about some thoughtless anglers fishing this river.
1. Is it legal to clean fish on the rivers? I've scanned the DOC regulations and can't find any reference, but can anybody give me a definitive answer? Dave Cade, AKA Didymo Dave is tireless in his efforts to rid the river banks of predatory pests such as rats, stoats, weasels, etc., and has 140 odd traps he sets and maintains on a regular basis. If anglers are cleaning fish and throwing the guts into the river, and I saw this on several occasions, the remains ultimately get caught up somewhere along the river bank and act as encouragement to these unwanted pests. Next time you're up the river just observe the bird life, it's just magnificent, and due in a major part to Dave's efforts. This is undoubtedly the prettiest river in the area so lets keep it that way.
2. I don't believe anglers would intentionally walk over the spawning redds but I cringe every time I see them doing so. I believe its ignorance on behalf of many anglers but the redds are so obvious and very easy to avoid. Remember, this is our future fish stock you're destroying!
3. The amount of rubbish on the banks is increasing; it's so easy to put it in your pocket and dispose of it in the proper manner. Wrappers, tippet material, cigarette butts, it's all there for everybody to see. This is a world class fishery with lots of international visitors who repeat their experiences to others when they return home; we can each do our bit to ensure the "Pure NZ" message rings true.
Geez I never thought I'd be capable of this but I'm pleased I got it off my chest. I don't apologise for it but Hatepe and the Hinemaiaia River have held a special place in my heart since I was about 4 years old, that's more than %# years.