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Lower Waikato River Trout Competition Wraps Up with Success

The Kilwell Lower Waikato River Trout Competition certainly started with a bang! By Wednesday, the half way mark in the 9 day contest, there had already been 56 fish weighed and entered, with 25 out of the 48 entrants having already caught fish. The end of the competition, which finished 2pm on Sunday the 18th October, saw 125 trout caught and recorded at the competition weigh-in stations.

Junior angler, Levi King, shows of his catch. Credit: Steve Sharpe

The quantity of fish in the river this year was up on previous years and have been of great quality. According to Mike Lynch, one of the competition organisers, we have seen “some deep bodied fish, which are of good colour and good eating. Softbaits are again working well, but bait and fly are all showing up in the results as well.”

Despite a disappointing turnout to the technique demonstration on Saturday, the organisers are feeling positive about the local’s abilities and techniques in trout fishing due to the obvious success, and all enjoyed an extra portion of fresh hot smoked trout!

Some of the competitors enjoying a well deserved drink at Taupiri Tavern. Credit: William Van Zyl

Prizegiving took place on Sunday, 18th October at Taupiri Tavern, where the main prizes were awarded to the winners, with a lot of spot prizes being given out as well. Wayne Rendall took out the Heaviest Brown Trout award in the Adult category with a 2.804kg trout. It was kept in the family with the junior category being won by Taylor Rendall with a 2.716kg trout. The Ladies’ category was very competitive with Shanae O’Hara catching the Heaviest Trout at 2.354kg and Tracey Farrar had the Best Condition Factor Trout with a score of 54.37.

The Grand Prize of the $1,000 Family Weekend Escape to Waihi Beach, which was awarded to the angler with the closest trout to the average weight of the fish caught, went to Steve Barayani with his trout weighing 1.322kg which was just 16g off the average weight.

Steve Barayani with his family. Credit: William Van Zyl

Waikato RiverCare also gave away native plants at the prize giving and encourage anglers to plant them at their favourite fishing spots. Planting natives on the banks of the Waikato River will increase water quality, fish habitat and biodiversity; with the added benefit of bigger, fatter trout for anglers to catch.​

If you'd like to know more about the Lower Waikato River Trout competition, would like a copy of the full results, or are interested in hearing more about the work that waikato RiverCare is doing along the Waikato River, please send an email through to and we'll be happy to help out!

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