Where have all the Whitebait gone

By Alan Tristram

23rd August 2009

Whitebaiting 1
Alan Fryer of Paraparaumu Beach

Whitebaiters are notoriously secretive but it seems the Season so far is a non=starter.

Kapiti Resident Alan Fryer, who has been whitebaiting at the Waikanae river mouth for several years, puts it this way:

“I have made some early cold starts since the season opened, but the biggest day so far has only amounted to 200 grams”.

The opening day on August 15 saw a rush of keen whitebaiters to the Waikanae River.

But with no signs of abundant whitebait, they were quick to move on.

Experts say it’s a case of waiting for the right conditions: But over the past couple of weeks there hasn’t been much rain or freshwater in the river — so conditions are not good for whitebait.

Glen Steinmetz checking his net at the Waikanae River Mouth
Glen Steinmetz checking his net at the Waikanae River Mouth

Another keen local whitebaiter, Glen Steinmetz, and his son Jacob,  have been  happy enough  to just enjoy the outing and catch a few  whitebait.

Mr Steinmetz says: ” Being such a nice day, I found  it was a good excuse to get away from the house work!”

But the keener whitebaiters must look back with longing to last year, when there were  good catches at the start of the season.

Still, there is hope — the present season runs to November 30.