Anglers happy to quarantine for chance to fish on Coast

Tourism operators say high-end anglers who visit the West Coast every year are so committed to the sport that some are willing to go through a two-week quarantine upon arrival in the country.

Inangahua Community Board chairman John Bougen said people were already booking trout fishing trips.

"They come here year after year. They are more than happy to go into isolation for two weeks," Mr Bougen said.

A local accommodation provider had kept in touch with clients over the lockdown and the word was they would be back as soon as possible.

"They stay for a while, they dine out, they shop local, they use local guides. They catch and release, and leave a lot of dosh here. They contribute, not deplete."

Fish and Game West Coast manager Dean Kelly said fly fishing drew high-end tourists.

"They come with money. And they come for an extended period. They can be in the country for a couple of months. A two-week quarantine is probably doable."

Many dedicated anglers came from Australia, and the possibility of the trans-Tasman 'bubble' meant they may not even have to quarantine.

The only downside was that catch and release meant some fish became uncatchable.

Mr Kelly said a lot of Canterbury people also came to the Coast for recreation — mountainbiking, fishing and hunting.

"We have been inundated regards the gamebird season and fishing, and when can people travel. A third of our hunters and more of our fishers are from Canterbury, and domestic travellers."

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