|Fish type, numbers and size
rainbow and brown trout are found in the Ohau Channel. These can
reach very impressive sizes, particularly early (October) and late
(April) in the season.
As this is the main route for trout to move between
the two lakes, the number of fish in the channel varies but can
be very high at times. When the trout emerge into Lake Rotoiti on
the spawning run they are generally in prime condition, and so the
channel can hold large numbers of prime condition rainbow and brown
trout. Trophy trout of 4.5kg (10lb) are caught every year, usually
browns. An 8.6kg (18lb) was caught during the 2005-2006 season and
a 9kg brown was landed in 2003.
The Ohau Channel
is an outlet for Lake Rotorua that meanders from Lake Rotorua over
flat, open farmland for approximately 2 km before it enters Lake
Rotoiti. There is a small weir just below where the water
from Lake Rotorua enters the channel itself. The pool just below
this weir is a very popular spot for anglers.
topographic maps: 1:50,000 (260
||View the MetService
weather forecast for Rotorua.
|| Rotorua Lakes access pamphlet >>>
As there are
limited spawning opportunities in Lake Rotoiti, trout move through
the channel during the late autumn and winter months to take advantage
of the spawning streams that feed into Lake Rotorua.
During spring (October and November) trout flock
to the channel to chase the large number of migrating smelt that
enter the channel to spawn, and the abundant food source means they
grow to trophy sizes.
The most popular places to fish this waterway
are at either end: where the channel enters over a weir from Lake
Rotorua; or where it spills into Lake Rotoiti at the delta.
October 1, opening
day, at the Ohau Channel is a big occasion. of the year. At least
50 anglers arrive and claim their spot hours before the 5am official
opening time. Fish and Game records show they will on average catch
half a fish an hour each, with an average weight of 3kg a fish.
|Ohau Channel diversion wall
|| The Ohau diversion wall on Lake Rotoiti
was completed in July. It is designed to stop water and nutrients
flowing from Lake Rotorua into the main body of Lake Rotoiti via the
Ohau Channel and so significantly improve the lake’s water quality
over time. The Environment Bay Of Plenty website has information about
channel diversion wall.
There is easy
access to the channel as it enters from Lake Rotorua and good access
to the delta area as it spills out to Lake Rotoiti.
The central section is less fished as it flows
over private farmland; permission to fish this section is generally
During the buiding of the Ohau channel diversion
- Rotoiti Delta boat ramp near the Ohau Channel
will be closed
- Okere Arm access lane has been removed
- Okere Arm is restricted to 5 knots from
the 5 knot/200 metre buoys to the south of Namaste Point
(For maps and more details see
Ohau channel diversion at the Environment Bay Of Plenty website.)
See the Lake Rotorua access
||This is fly fishing-only water. To
get the fly down requires a fast sinking line or veryheavily weighted
nymphs, especially at the very popular weir where the channel begins.
Ultra fast-sinking lines that can
get lures down deep are preferred though the summer fisherman can
also have success with a floating line and weighted nymphs. A weight
6 to 8 rod is ideal.
Smelt flies work well in the channel day and
night, on fast-sinking lines cast on heavy rods (at least no.8).
It is essential that the tackle is heavy enough for the line to
reach the bottom as soon as possible after it hits the water: for
example, an Airflo high-density line which sinks at almost 18cm
Use a large, weighted dark nymph such as Hare
and Copper or a Rough
Nymph in size 10 to 14 or egg patterns such as a Globug
or Muppit when trout
are migrating through the channel during spawning runs.
Dry flies: This waterway
is not highly regarded for dry fly fishing. During the height of
summer cricket and cicada patterns can induce a rise when there
are plenty of these insects about.
Wet flies / Streamers:
Use smelt patterns
such as Grey Ghost,
Doll fly, yellow
and green Rabbit
and Jack Spratt
during the day, and dark
patterns such as Fuzzy
Poacher or lumo flies (such as Black
Marabou Lumo) during the night.
||Ohau Channel from the outlet weir at Lake Rotorua to the landmark approx 200 metres downstream
||1 Oct-30 Jun
||Fly fishing only.
No boats are permitted to anchor in the Ohau Channel.
||Trout: 8 total
Brown trout: 2 maximum
|Size limit (cm)