Brown trout are native to Europe and were first introduced into New Zealand in the late 1860s from British stock that was first established in Tasmania Australia. The colour pattern of brown trout varies with their habitat. Sea-run and lake fish tend to be silvery with brown and olive spots of varying intensity, whereas river-dwelling fish are darker in colouration with brown and red spots, the latter being surrounded by paler halos. These red spots are particularly prominent on small river fish. .Brown trout are primarily a freshwater species, but can spend time in the sea.Brown trout occur virtually everywhere in New Zealand south of Auckland.
The above plaque commemorates the original hatchery site where the very first brown trout were raised in Christchurch New Zealand, a place I have visited several times over the years.... a place that has a special feel for any New Zealand angler.
Brown trout have adapted to blend into their habitat extremely well since being introduced to New Zealand.
Sea, river and lake run trout are all extremely hard to see if stationary in their natural environment a careful slow approach is required to spot them. The key is to know where to look for them. A good set of Polarized sun glasses are essential in helping to reduce glare from the water and a must have for anglers.The easiest place to spot a brown trout is along the slower moving edges of rivers and streams and in the deeper pools. This is for two reasons: Firstly brown trout like to rest and feed in these areas; secondly the water is not so affected by surface disturbance like in faster runs and riffles . Another common place to find a brown trout is behind large obstructions in rivers and streams things such as large rocks, boulders or submerged trees etc trout will position themselves in these places to rest and take advantage of any food drifting downstream and into their field of view.
There are many things that threaten the future of the quality of our fishery here in New Zealand , things such as, water pollution, water abstraction, wetland drainage and forest clearance. All of the above are high priority issues throughout New Zealand and need to be dealt with in the very near future. In the South Island water abstraction and pollution are the main 2 key issues affecting our rivers and streams. Excessive amounts of intensive farming occur in most regions and these practices are posing a huge threat to many of its waterways. Poisonous algal blooms from tonnes of fertiliser and effluent entering these waterways are making many of our rivers and streams in some areas uninhabitable for trout. The Brown trout has acclimatised to New Zealand’s environment and can be seen in most of our streams, rivers and lakes. New Zealand's brown trout provide a source of recreation for thousands of people; both locals and international visitors alike. It also provides economic benefits to the country estimated at $120 million . To ensure this resource is retained for future generations to enjoy, emphasis must be put on the management practices of the land surrounding their habitats, and regulations need to be abided by, by all land users. We live in a beautiful country with some of the worlds best fly fishing rivers and streams; so take advantage of them and and get out there this summer and a have a crack at catching one of New Zealand’s most prized fish !