South Westland Fishing Competition
The annual Lake Mapourika Fishing Competition contest is organised by the South Westland Lions Club and attracts a mixture of professional and amateur fishermen every February. The competition runs for three days and the camaraderie and tall stories seem to be just as important as the actual fishing. This year fourteen good sized salmon were caught and the locals are still waiting for the big salmon run.
Located ten kilometres north of Franz Joseph Glacier Township Lake Mapourika is the largest lake in the Westland Tai Poutini National Park and one of the best kept fishing secrets. Surrounded by pristine native bush the lake is fed by a number of small streams and is drained by the Okarito River.
Salmon were first released as early as 1932 and today you can land a good sized salmon dinner between the 1st October to the 31st March and trout can becaught all year round. Expect your trout to be in the three to five pound range and the salmon are even bigger!
The dense bush surrounding the lake and tea-coloured water makes fishing from the shoreline challenging; however, there are two boat ramps that open up the lake to both trolling and casting. There are a number of experienced fishing guides in the area if you want local knowledge, and basic fishing supplies and fishing licenses can be purchased from Franz Josef Glacier Motors.
Even if you don’t catch the big one, the snow capped Southern Alps mirrored on the surface of the lake and the range of dining options in Franz Josef Glacier Township will mean you will find plenty of food for your soul and your stomach when you go on your Glacier Country fishing expedition.