Otago's backcountry rivers opened for fishing season in
November, offering a unique range of angling opportunities
Otago is fortunate to have some of the most outstanding
backcountry rivers in the country, and while they are
commonly visited by overseas anglers, there is always plenty
of room for the locals.
The resource that tourists pay thousands of dollars to see
and experience is in our backyard - most of us probably take
it for granted, yet it is freely available for everyone to
enjoy. Kiwi kids love the outdoors - it's in their DNA and
they will truly appreciate the chance to fish somewhere new
The 4WD trip or tramp in, staying over at a hut with people
met along the way and, of course, great fishing are all
wonderful experiences that will be fondly remembered.
Fish and Game is working enthusiastically to ensure
backcountry angling experiences are maintained through
fishing regulations which requires an additional licence for
designated backcountry fisheries.
Three additional Otago rivers - The Hunter, Young and Wilkin
- now require a backcountry licence. Anglers will need to
upgrade their whole-season or family fishing licence to a
backcountry licence (BC licence) to legally fish in those
waters along with the five rivers already classified (Nevis,
Greenstone, Caples and Upper Lochy rivers and the Dingle
The BC licence is a simple endorsement on a whole-season
licence (at no extra cost) in the form of a coded number,
which is available on the Fish and Game
website: www.fishandgame.org.nz. All BC licence
registrations are entered on a database and at the end of the
season an online survey will be conducted monitoring
satisfaction and use.
It is not legal to use designated backcountry fisheries with
a 24-hour licence and anyone doing so commits an offence.
Familiarise yourself with local fishing regulations and spend
some time this summer in Otago's outstanding backcountry.
Travel prepared, as weather conditions can change quickly,
and if the fish aren't biting the incredible scenery alone
will make the trip worthwhile.