Fishing season extended at some Canterbury lakes and rivers

Anglers at the Rakaia River mouth in February. Photo: Fish & Game NZ
Anglers at the Rakaia River mouth in February. Photo: Fish & Game NZ
Anglers are now able to fish selected lakes and rivers in Canterbury that would normally be closed at this time of year.

The North Canterbury Fish & Game Council applied to the Minister of Conservation for an amendment to the Sports Fishing Notice, and now North Canterbury anglers can fish these selected waterways.

Said Alan Strong, North Canterbury Fish and Game Council chairman: "This is great news for Canterbury anglers who had lost fishing opportunities due to a combination of Covid-19 restrictions.

"We thank the Minister for her support of North Canterbury anglers and her speedy decision."

"The extension of the season will be a welcome relief during these stressful times, and we encourage people to enjoy the spectacular freshwater fishing opportunities that the North Canterbury region has to offer, as well as to allow them the chance to go out and catch a trout for the table" Strong said.

The Covid-19 pandemic and the subsequent lockdown imposed by the Government meant that anglers were unable to utilise the last six weeks of the traditional fishing season.

Said North Canterbury Fish & Game chief executive Rasmus Gabrielsson: "For the last four years most waterways in the North Canterbury region have closed at the end of April, and as a result our reduced winter season (May 1 to September 30) has offered less opportunities compared to most other South Island regions."

"This lack of winter fishing opportunity is something that North Canterbury Fish & Game is looking to rectify long term, through a review of the fishing regulations for next season.

"However, the council deemed it appropriate to consider allowing more opportunity sooner. So we applied to the Minister of Conservation for a one-off amendment and extension to the current fishing season.

"These are extraordinary circumstances that certainly justify practical adjustment to ensure anglers get some local recreation opportunities to get into the outdoors" Gabrielsson said.

The extension applies to a selected number of waterways that anglers can fish in close to population centres. This gives anglers the opportunity to fish locally and close to home in keeping with Covid-19 conditions.

The waterways and lower sections of larger rivers included in the application were carefully selected to ensure that no known major spawning areas are put at risk. Because important spawning areas are protected it is not considered any additional harvest pressure, or angling opportunities will risk endangering the long-term sustainability of sports fish populations.

In addition to applying for this one-off extension, the North Canterbury region will also be undertaking a wider angling regulation review later this month.

More information regarding the proposed regulation changes will be available on the Fish & Game website. It will also be inviting anglers to make submissions in writing so the council can consider them at its June 17 meeting.

Waterway

Season extension

Methods/daily bag limits

Lake Coleridge

Extend fishing for the month of May.  This will then join onto the winter season which starts at the 1 of June.

Status Quo

Lake Lyndon

Extend fishing for the month of May.  This will then join onto the winter season which starts at the 1 of June.

Status Quo

Lake Pearson

Extend fishing for the month of May.  This will then join onto the winter season which starts at the 1 of June.

Status Quo

Rakaia River

Downstream of the Coleridge Tailrace (white posts).  Allow fishing throughout the winter season of 1 May to 30 September.

All methods, 2 trout, 0 salmon.

Heathcote River

Allow fishing throughout the winter season of 1 May to 30 September.

All methods, 2 trout, 0 salmon.

Avon River

Downstream of Barbaboes St Bridge,  Allow fishing throughout the winter season of 1 May to 30 September.

All methods, 2 trout, 0 salmon.

Waimakariri River

Downstream of confluence with Staircase Stream. Allow fishing throughout the winter season of 1 May to 30 September.

All methods, 2 trout, 0 salmon.

Ashley River

Downstream of the Ashley Gorge Road. Allow fishing throughout the winter season of 1 May to 30 September.

All methods, 2 trout, 0 salmon.

Hurunui River

Downstream of the confluence with the South Branch Hurunui River. Allow fishing throughout the winter season of 1 May to 30 September.

All methods, 2 trout, 0 salmon.

Waiau River

Downstream of the confluence with the Hope River. Allow fishing throughout the winter season of 1 May to 30 September.

All methods, 2 trout, 0 salmon.

 

 

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